Following the disappointing Girls Can Tell, Kill the Moonlight was a tremendous comeback for Spoon, a return to the taut, rhythmic feel of A Series of Sneaks (still their best album). "The Way We Get By" was Spoon's first real anthem, Britt Daniel flirtatiously barking, "You sweet talk like a cop, and you know it/ You bought a new bag of pot/ So let's make a new start," and then offering a raison d'etre straight outta Dazed and Confused: "We get high in backseats of cars."
The weed singalongs stop there, but the joyful punch does not. "Stay Don't Go" is the rare instance of indie rock and beatboxing (of sorts) mixing well. "Small Stakes" feels ready to be the theme song of your favorite new sitcom. "Jonathan Fisk" is straight rock, the likes of which we'd get much more of with Gimme Fiction. "Don't Let It Get You Down" is just the right amount of bittersweet. And finally, both "Vittorio E" and "Paper Tiger" bring a beautiful wooziness, and in hindsight clearly suggest "The Ghost of You Lingers," the Reich-ian single from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
Kill the Moonlight was Spoon's last moment as everyone's favorite unknown band. With Gimme Fiction two years later, the (comparative) big time was theirs. It was Kill the Moonlight that earned them those stripes.