Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Spoon: Girls Can Tell [Merge, 2001]
A few songs grab you, the rest grow on you, the lyric sheet makes some sense. Dynamics fill in for groove. But even after you run the hooks through your head for a day--"Take the fifth," "fitted shirt," "that you're next to me"--you don't have much idea what Britt Daniel is on about, except maybe that he wonders why he works so hard on his songs, and (duh) has yet to find true love. And beyond "Take the fifth," no phrases stick out as free-floating signifiers, either. In short, the indie-pop conundrum in a nutshell too slippery to crack--unless you really like filberts. B+