Spiritualized "Sweet Heart, Sweet Light"
Is it possible to talk about Spiritualized without mentioning “Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space“? What about Jason Pierce’s bouts of serious illness and how it gave birth to 'Songs In A&E'? Or how it his latest bout of his illness influenced this, the latest Spiritualized record. Apparently not, it seems.
Again, Pierce releases a record that people will compare to past records; specifically, and because of, game changer 'Ladies & Gentlemen….' and again, there will be talk of illness, drugs, 'that' record and pretty much everything that’s ever been said about previous Spiritualized records, because this is a Spiritualized record and, er, it sounds exactly like one. At times, one can almost imagine someone who‘s never even heard Spiritualized would know this was a Spiritualized record, so much does it sound like one.
Which makes it hard to judge because all Spiritualized records sound like Spiritualized records, but until 'Songs In A&E', it was generally assumed they were spent. 'Songs in A&E' surprised a lot of people, showing as it did that rumours of Pierce’s creative demise were greatly exaggerated, and if the many already glowing reviews of this record show, it appears his renaissance continues. Or does it? I’m not sure. The vocals are higher in the mix than normal which shines a light on some questionable lyrics; as we know if you mess with fire, you get burnt and so on. All the usual Spiritualized calling cards are here; Bombast, religious imagery (Jesus, God, the lord...I mean Jesus, God. Still?)) the need for love, fire, burning, rock and roll, choirs that lift, strings, vulnerability and oh, you know. It’s a Spiritualized record. It’s better than some of them, but not as good as a couple.
“Hey Jane”, “Headin’ for the Top Now” and a couple of others are decent but, Jesus, god and good lord; it’s a bit boring now. Truth is, even at their best, they were a little overrated. I believe the kids say meh, these days. So yeah, meh.