Since their formation, Spoon has been as reliably great as any act in indie rock. The band’s catalog of consistency means that ranking Spoon’s albums in order of awesomeness is a game of inches – or maybe even a series of sneaks.

In the waning days of grunge, Spoon was formed by singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno, who have remained the band’s only constant members. The group began as a Pixies sound-alike, but a good one, with a knack for sharp songcraft and melodies (not just noise). Although the band’s major label romance ended in disaster – after only one album on Elektra – Daniel plundered his tortured soul to supply great songs. For 2001’s Girls Can Tell, he and Eno developed a minimalistic approach that would ground Spoon’s signature sound.

In the new millennium, Spoon went on a tear. Led by Daniel’s vinegar bark and Eno’s crisp percussion, the band became indie rock stalwarts with album after album of captivating sounds and songs. With the addition of other permanent members, Spoon became an actual combo willing to adjust its sonic approach to diversify its music without betraying its starkness.

Even in its most accessible, fully orchestrated moments (such as “The Underdog”), Spoon doesn’t create a wall of sound. To contradict one of the band’s best songs, everything does not hit at once. The different instruments and elements are all distinguishable. And they become small clusters of bricks that hit you like a tom-tom. The grand total doesn’t overpower; it’s the details that are dastardly.

To date, Spoon has made nine studio albums – and there’s not a bad one in the bunch. Let’s see which one comes out on top as we rank them in reverse.

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