Album: Girls Can Tell
. . .
While Spoon released a couple of albums in the 1990s — 1996’s indie Telephono and 1998’s major-label debut (and major-label exit) A Series of Sneaks — they didn’t really cross my radar at the time, and when I went back after getting into them, nothing jumped out at me.
However, starting with 2001’s Girls Can Tell, Spoon utterly killed it for the next decade, releasing five good-to-great records, my favorite songs from which will be dominating this column for the next week and a half or so. According to songwriter & frontman Britt Daniel, Girls Can Tell was a conscious departure from what they did in the 1990s, and on the best songs, highlighted drummer Jim Eno, who is an absolute monster.
Eno is at the heart of today’s song, “The Fitted Shirt,” which starts off with big off-beat power chords, over which Eno perfectly bisects the song as Daniel sings about, well, the fitted shirt.
When I was still growing up
And Dad head off to work
He put coat and tie on
Over a fitted shirt
Nothing else will fit right
Or seem so directly applied
Than fitted shirt hung on me
Fitted shirt, alright
But I don’t love “The Fitted Shirt” because of the lyrics; I love “The Fitted Shirt” because it kinda sounds like something from Physical Graffiti. Indie-rock Zep! I mean, obviously Britt Daniel doesn’t sing like Robert Plant, or play like Jimmy Page, and while Eno doesn’t have the flair, he utterly nails the Bonhamesque backwards beat throughout each and every verse.
He also lays off on the choruses, which are in a waltzy stop-time, and over which Daniels waxes nostalgic.
One day it’ll take
And they’ll start to make
Shirts that fit right
Till then I suppose
I still got Dad’s clothes
And that’s alright
Actually, near the end, when Daniel’s chanting “fitted shirt” over and over and over while overdubbing a guitar solo, Eno gets a little fancy. Just a little. Also: Spoiler Alert: this will not be the last time we talk about the awesome interplay between Daniel & Eno, as that’s the engine that has made Spoon so great this century. As you’ll see.
“The Fitted Shirt”
“The Fitted Shirt” Live for WFUV, 2021
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