Spoon Girls Can Tell

The music industry has not been kind to Spoon. They were critically adored in their early days, leading to one of those inevitable late '90s dalliances with a major label that ended in tears and being dropped. They persevered, though, and have turned up on the equally adored Merge Records. Spoon's third full-length finds them refining their sound, moving further and further away from those early days that found Pixies comparisons piling up on top of each other. These days, they are more likely to be mentioned in the same breath as the Wipers or even Elvis Costello and his Stiff Records brethren, because there is a sort of timeless nod to new wave in many of the songs on the album. But rather than simply doing a fashionably retro thing, they've decided to try to come up with something original and unlike anyone else at the moment, and they are successful, too. They even try their hand at some more tender material, "1020 AM" and "Chicago At Night" are both indications that the band is now equally passionate at any tempo. Girls Can Tell is a confident, assured album that indicates that the band has put all their past setbacks firmly behind them. It is the best thing that they've recorded and could very well be the album that propels them back into the spotlight that has been taunting them for so many years now. Even at this early point in the year, there's a very good chance that this record could end up as one of 2001's best albums. (Merge)