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Girls Can Tell

70 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 20, 2001
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$11.13 $1.49
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Editorial Reviews

This is a great, understated album that merits repeated plays. Spoon have made a literate, rocking, breakthrough record that occupies a funny place--the songs are not unconventional, per se, yet they're somehow really special. Girls Can Tell displays the emotional resonance and big rock power of, say, Thin Lizzy and Mott the Hoople; the sonically referential, indie-rock smarts of a band like Versus; and amazing hooks that recall Colin Blunstone of the Zombies. Like Jennyanykind, Moviola, and the Lilys, this Austin, Texas, trio has chosen to work on perfecting their craft without paying much heed to mainstream or trends. In spite of (but mostly because of) wrenching breakup-centered lyrical material delivered in a very real, matter-of-fact way, Girls Can Tell is one of those life-affirming pop albums you know you'll return to in years to come. --Mike McGonigal

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Everything Hits At Once 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Believing Is Art 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Me And The Bean 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Lines In The Suit 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. The Fitted Shirt 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Anything You Want 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Take A Walk 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. 1020 AM 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Take The Fifth 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. This Book Is A Movie 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Chicago At Night 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 20, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B000056O2Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,728 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By M. E Mattson on June 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
....It is not a "revelation," unless the revelation is that something can be great and totally unassuming, too.
But a 5 star record should be a record in which every song is great, and which will sound just as good 10 years from now. It needn't change the world at all--it just needs to be great in and of itself. With "Girls Can Tell," Spoon achieves just that: a timeless, fresh-sounding album of stripped-down rock songs which pay homage to the past without being too reverential, while maintaining a sound which is neither retro nor hyperfashionable.
In a sense the record reminds me of early R.E.M. records (though they sound nothing alike!) in that the spareness of the instrumentation seems to connote much more than is actually there, though the guitar/bass/drums arrangements leave room for the odd keyboard, harpsichord, etc. to pop in for added color.
In the past, Spoon seemed to err on the side of indie coolness. On "Girls Can Tell" there is an emotional openness to the melody and lyrics refreshing in its lack of irony. Here they are much more interested in being a rock band--one you might've heard on the radio somewhere between (I'm guessing) 1974 and 1980. The Thin Lizzy influence is there in the dry, spare attack of the band and the almost conversation run-on cadences of some vocals ....
...the album does rock with attitude, and rock in a way that does not require bone-crushing distortion, ham-fisted drums, a handful of steroids, and one trillion overdubs. It has the dangerous grace and surprise impact of a Shaolin boxer to the current state-of-rock's WWF.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "burquhart1" on April 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Following their unceremonious departure from Elektra records, Spoon suffered in a kind of musician's purgatory while vainly searching for a new label. The frustration for Britt Daniel, Spoon's de facto leader, was compounded by the fact that the band had already finished recording its next album. After sending demos to dozens of labels - and receiving dozens of rejection letters - Daniel was feeling, well, kind of washed up. It would have been a very sad story if it wasn?t for the kind people at Merge Records.
It's difficult to understand how any label could pass on an album as effortlessly accomplished as Girls Can Tell. Combining the hushed pop introspection of Big Star's minor key moments with the angular, keyboard-driven minimalism of Chairs Missing-era Wire, Girls Can Tell is an album of sublime longing, punctuated by Daniel's expressive, razor-nicked voice. In his Austin, Texas drawl, Daniel sings songs of love, betrayal, faith and tradition over a spare arrangement of guitar, bass, drums and piano. It all feels a little melancholy.
It's the space within the songs that may be the most salient aspect of Girls Can Tell. While so many bands feel compelled to fill a song up with the unnecessary, Spoon breaks rock 'n' roll down to its base elements, employing only what is needed. Songs like "Believing is Art" are reduced, in parts, to an almost subliminal bass line above a simple, rhythmic pattern. While another band would place rhythm guitar behind the lead, Spoon limits the lead to a rigid, three-note motif and eliminates the extraneous strum. Yet, even without the frills, Girls Can Tell still sounds extraordinary.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Saska Albright on September 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One singer. Minimal keyboards and sampling. One guitar, one bass, drums. How can this simple formula become the genre-defying, infectious experience that is Spoon's "Girls Can Tell"? When the novelty of the White Stripes' anti-establishment minimalism has worn off, Spoon will be here to pick up the pieces and prove that *musicianship* plus minimalism equals alchemy: more than the sum of the parts.
From the first bars of "Everything Hits at Once," I was bobbing my head and tapping feet. Whether on the aching but uptempo "Lines in the Suit" (like a fusion of the Mamas and the Papas with Elvis Costello), the straightforward, Tom Petty-ish "Anything You Want", or the surf-rock instrumental "This Book Is A Movie", Austin singer-songwriter Britt Daniel's pop hooks catch in the fleshy part of your consciousness and take permanent hold. Collaborator and drummer Jim Eno keeps pace with flair but not flash.
Daniel's voice evokes the emotion, if not the sound, of classic rock singers with country roots, a la Tom Petty and Neil Young.
Classic 70s rock and roll, R&B, rockabilly, 60s pop, classic country, roots rock, surf rock, and new wave all surface during a listen to "Girls Can Tell" - but such comparisons should be used with caution, since Spoon's sound is far more than the sum of those influences.
The truth is that "Girls Can Tell" is very much a modern record, only possible with all of the musical history that went before it. That Spoon has managed to create a completely unique sound out of their cultural reference bank is all for our gain.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By pixelgrrl on March 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I heard samples of this album I was hooked instantly! They have a clean sound that is catchy from the first time you listen. Each song is individual from the others. The melodic sound of the piano keeps the music upbeat...combined with the lead singer's voice it's a perfect blend. The music brings me memories and thoughts of an early Billy Joel, Ben Folds Five, and Cake.
This album shows the tremendous talents of Spoon and is definitely a group to watch for in the very near future. What lies ahead looks very promising for them!
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