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Stranger Than 'Fiction'

SpoonAustin's Spoon has lingered at the intersection of critical acclaim and commercial underachievement for years. Singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno began by revisiting angular '80s guitar rock and addressing indie-kid heartbreak. But the hooks were always there, and backed by a revolving cast, Spoon gradually embraced them.

"Gimme Fiction" is the culmination of this movement, a collection of mini-epics with heft, complexity and singalong choruses. The band's distinctive coiled energy remains, from piano-laced opener "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" to the giddy handclaps on "They Never Got You." As titles like "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" suggest, Daniel hasn't lost his flair for metaphor, either.

A video is in the works for lead single "I Turn My Camera On," which rides a Clash-meets-Motown groove over Daniel's biting falsetto. "I knew singing falsetto would make that song stand out," he says. "That's the hardest thing we go through: We always worry how to make each song unique and special. That was an easy one. Just sing falsetto, and it's instantly different."