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Sweet Heart Sweet Light

April 17, 2012 | Format: MP3

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3:39
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6:46
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7:51
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By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Spiritualized never did what I wanted them to do. When I heard "Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space", I wanted them to be another Sigur Ros. They aren't, never have been, and aren't now. And boy am I glad, because what they do is wonderful. After "Songs in A&E", Jason Pierce's deeply beautiful and interesting meditation on a near death experience (interestingly, largely written before he actually had a near death experience) I wasn't sure which way he'd go. He went big. The album opens with a hypnotic instrumental, and segues quickly into "Hey Jane", which is a simply wonderful jangle rock tune that starts great and just gets grander, ending 8 minutes later in a blissed out reverb drenched singalong: "Sweet heart, sweet light, sweet heart, and love of my life" he sings, sounding utterly sincere and affirming. An absolutely wonderful amazing way to open the album. "Headin' for the Top Now" stars out with a noisy crunchy guitar drone and then overlays a honky-tonk piano, then Pierce comes in with a world weary vocal that manages to channel the Stone Roses and Mick Jagger with attitude to spare. Huh? Yea. Exactly. "Mary", beautiful and soft on beginning, but evolving with a spare but funky guitar into a blues fueled chant. "Mary, you know this life's so sweet...Mary, you know we both have dreams but you're the one who gotta live them instead" Pierce sings while layers and layers of guitars and strings,not to mention layers of vocals pile on into an ecstasy of fuzzed out wonder. This album is long, slow and detailed, full of touches that reveal themselves over time, but is not delicate or precious--it is sincere, ambitious, and a very fulfilling listen.
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Format: Audio CD
Upon hearing 'Sweet Heart Sweet Light' for the first time a couple days back, my initial thoughts were, "Well, this sounds pretty much exactly as I expected it to sound." But by the end of that same listen, I realized, "No, this is the sound Jason Pierce has been striving towards since...well....ever." Or it least since the late 90's. Sure, there are choirs, strings, drug references, God references, etc., all with a slight gospel-y bent to it all. It wouldn't be a Spiritualized album without all that. The band are almost a genre unto themselves, with a sound no other act would dare borrow for fear of coming off as complete rip-off artists. And now that sound has been perfected, imo. This coming from someone who's been slightly burnt-out on this band the past few years, even though I thought their last album, 2008's 'Songs in A & E', was a pretty strong album.

Unlike Spiritualized's previous albums from the past decade, 'Sweet Heart Sweet Light' is packed with the grandiose, epic jams fans came to expect in the 90's, such as the 9-minute lead track (after the short intro) "Hey Jane," an excellent psych rave-up that builds and builds to an ecstasy-filled crescendo that literally caused the clouds to part, the sun to come out, and rainbows to shoot all over the sky during my first listen. OK, that may not have REALLY happened, but it did for me. Just you wait. No pharmaceutical help needed, but it certainly couldn't hurt! "Little Girl," one of the shorter, more straight-forward tracks, yet still filled with horns, strings, female backing vocals, etc., has one of the most infectious choruses I've ever heard, and it's over all too soon, which is not a bad thing, as it never became redundant.
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Format: Audio CD
The reviews are in and the word is out. The new Spiritualized record, titled Sweet Heart, Sweet Light, is the Spaceman's best new long player since his signature work, 1997's pill-infected Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space. But wait, isn't every new Spiritualized album - save for maybe 2003's Saving Grace - the great new Spiritualized record? Jason "Spaceman" Pierce, originally known for his work in Spaceman 3, makes great records that are often huge productions. Sweet Heart, which took two years to record and a year to mix, is another great production, and probably the band's most worthy great new album in 10 years, if not since Ladies was released 15 years ago.

Here we have what appears to almost instantly be the most accessible batch of songs the Spaceman has ever written, many of which are fleshed out by big string arrangements, powerful riffs, choral arrangements and Pierce's sweet, slacker voice (think Liam Gallagher, on downers). Along for the ride are plenty of mid-range hitters, including Pierce's daughter, Poppy Spaceman, Icelandic band Amiina, NOLA legend Dr. John, The Magic Numbers frontman Romeo Stodart and guitar stud Tony Foster. And, well, about 100 other contributors, many of which either helped out with the mixing and recording process or sang in the Spiritualized Choir. A grand recording, surely, and one that I think could cement Pierce's legacy as one of the most ambitious - if still little known outside of the art rock world - album makers of his time. Simply put, the man knows how to go all the way without losing sight of the song, and new tracks like "Mary," single "Hey Jane" and the epic "Headin' For the Top Now" are some the best examples of this rare ability yet in his deep canon.
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