Spiritualized: ‘Sweet Heart – Sweet Light’ : album review


Spiritualized
‘Sweet Heart ”“ Sweet Light’
9/10
album review

the return of the Warwickshire Lou Reed

the return of the Warwickshire Lou Reed

Sweeping strings usher in a sixties feeling guitar with just a touch of the old old spaced man throb behind it. Jason sings as he always does, a Warwickshire Lou Reed. Hey Jane is eight minutes long and you may have already heard the preview on soundcloud, it started me looking forward to this album big style. The way it dissolves into discord and quiet and then restarts into another uplifting section forcing positivity onto you.

Little girl, starts off with ”˜sometimes I wish that I could die’ and turns into what seems to be a call to keep going, to get it on, to move forward away from despair and that all of us feel this bad so ”˜before you ride into the sun’ just live. The song is more strings complementing the guitar strumming and understated rhythm section, uplifting music again.

Get What You Deserve is more understated, very repetitive and an underscore of noises, guitar scratch, a slow slow moving song that I’m sure harks to narcotic influence. Too Late is a beautiful cautionary tale of love, how love hurts and burns when you touch the flame, except that it’s too late, hearts are already aflame and it’s too late to stop. It’s a piano that ushers in the song and it is gentle and heartbreaking music.

Then, just when you think that Jason has abandoned the Spiritualized throb comes Headin’ for the Top Now which builds as Hey Jane did repeating the tune over and over, a hint of fuzziness making your head feel like it’s gone and Jason singing about white lights in your mind. A total drug induced euphoric song like Spiritualized of old.

Freedom is yours if you want it…a sad song about leaving you behind. He’s leaving and singing a last song, voice almost cracking with emotion. Starts as fragile regret and thoughts of the end of a relationship and builds to a choir singing behind Jason turning something very sad and personal to a gospel tinged string led crescendo.

I am what I am has a psychedelic groove from the start, repetitive and echoing the jazz like sprawls that Spiritualized lapsed into on Ladies and Gentlemen.. You’ll find your head nodding along and singing I am what I am over and over. The vocals holding together the discord beneath.Mary, a funk bass driven cautionary tale, talks of heading out to the town but knowing you are going to suffer in the morning and searching for glory knowing it has long gone. The bass is the driving force but the strings and harsh guitar make it another Spiritualized triumph.

Metal on metal sets my teeth on edge, just as chalk on blackboard does for others. The start of Life is a Problem has a metallic sound like a bolt being screwed in that has me wincing. This turns into the most hearbreaking song about Jesus since Kurt sang Jesus wants me for a sunbeam. ”˜This life is too long and my willpower was never too strong’So Long You pretty Things is a goodbye to the stars that came before, a vision of Ziggy Stardust sitting listening to his songs on the radio as his fame has faded, it’s a thanks and a tribute to all those songs that made us what we are and where what we love now came from. An absolute triumph.

Jason’s voice is a fragile almost broken thing, but these songs suit it so well that you cannot imagine anyone else singing them. This album is outstanding. Buy it.

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12 comments on “Spiritualized: ‘Sweet Heart – Sweet Light’ : album review”

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  1. Good review John! And you refrained from using Spacemen 3 throughout! Hey Little Girl is fuckin awesome! Stand out track, Jason Pierce will always write quality stuff and blow everyone away live. Pity he is not stopping in Manchester on his tour. xx

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