Spiritualized: Everything Was BeautifulSpiritualized: Everything Was Beautiful – Album Review

(Bella Union)

Released 22nd April

Vinyl/CD/DL available here

9/10

Spiritualized return on fine form with album number nine which is full of that J. Spaceman formulae that never lets you down with those ambitious sounds. Wayne AF Carey investigates…

Not resting on his laurels after re-releasing the first four albums as the Spaceman Reissue Program, Jason Pierce is back with another blissed out medicinal slab of everything you’d expect from the ‘if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it’ sound of almost religious status. The magic is still there and the production is as polished as ever, considering the army of instruments involved, which is the way of The Spaceman…

Always Together With You is pure beauty with elements of everything in Pierce’s back catalogue. It’s like all the great openers from each of his albums, including the mention of the album titles from his daughter Poppy (Ladies & Gentleman) and Kate Radley (Lazer Guided Melodies). It’s a grand statement for an opener which floats, builds and crashes with a gospel tinge, morse code bleeps, a cacophony of sound that melts your mind with the scope and ambition that could have been extended for another seven minutes it’s that exhilarating. A pure love song. Best Thing You Never Had is Spiritualized at their best, a groovy rocker full of that trademark drone backed with a great guitar lick, druggy effects, trumpets and that laid back vocal from Pierce that sounds as smooth as silk and fades out into oblivion.

Let It Bleed is so laid back it’s horizontal, a spine chilling mellow start that crashes into a lovely piece of sonic noise that doesn’t try to be clever and creates a fantastic chorus that shows why this guy pens music that no one else can touch in this genre. Liam Gallagher would call this ‘biblical’. Crazy is a stoned country number tinged with the gospel sounds from LAGWAFIS and just makes you want to chill with a fat spliff and a shot of your spirit of choice. As chilled as it gets.

The Mainline Song starts with the experimental madness again, the sounds of train horns hooting, a space rock opera that sounds like a rehash of Sweet Heart Sweet Light, which is quoted throughout the journey. Almost six minutes of Pierce in his zone, not trying to invent the wheel, just reinvent that song which runs through his head that can sprout like daffodils in March. Not anything new but a wonder to see once a year when the seed is planted. An excellent piece of songwriting from the mind of a man who just needs to release this blissed out fuzz from his head.

The A Song (Laid In Your Arms) sounds majestic. The usual drug references are in there with the mushies getting a mention and the horns taking over, layering the rush of mental noise that just fucks up your ears with the mental freefall of psych rock noise that batters your senses without going all ‘up your own arse’ jazz. Sonic as fuck. Last track I’m Coming Home Again is just a stunning closer which has a slight menace running throughout. It’s intense yet thrilling and Pierce makes the use of every instrument he can get his hands on without getting too overblown. A repetitive bass line running throughout and lyrics that give a hint of him coming out of a rabbit hole into a world of reality that can only be created by the myriad ideas in the mind of a songwriter who can tell you a tale or two over his journey of ups and downs that always end with a smile.

This a culmination of all eight albums that collide together into another collection of great songs that only Pierce could write. Nothing new here or groundbreaking, yet a celebration of a glittering career from one of the most unique songwriters on the planet. Untouchable stuff from one of the great treasures of the British music scene. The perfect prescription…

Tour dates:

28 Apr – Bath, UK – The Forum tickets

29 Apr – Cambridge, UK – Corn Exchange tickets

30 Apr – Brighton, UK – Dome tickets

02 May – Birmingham, UK – Symphony Hall tickets

04 May – Gateshead, UK – Sage tickets

05 May – Glasgow, UK – SWG3 Galvanizers tickets

07 May – Dublin, IE – Olympia Theatre  tickets

08 May – Manchester, UK – Bridgewater Hall tickets

09 May – Nottingham, UK – Royal Concert Hall tickets

10 May – London, UK – Roundhouse tickets

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Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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I'm a music nut from North Manchester residing in Northwich. If it's good I'm on it. Most genres covered but mainly alternative post punk indie with a love for all things psych. A big supporter of the grass roots scene and tiny venues.

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