Spiritualized Ė Sweet Heart Sweet Light (CD Domino )

 

Iíve seen mixed reviews of Spiritualizedís seventh album so I approached it with some trepidation about what I was going to hear.

The albums been recorded over a period of two years and in three different cities and then spent a year getting mixed by Jason Pierce at home. Different studios and long recording times can lead to an album sounding disjointed and not flowing particularly well and on first listen I have to say this didnít grab me the way the early albums like Ladies and Gentlemen and Lazer Guided Melodies did. But itís an album that rewards you for perseverance.

The album was recorded with one of its aims being a more poppy collection of songs. I think the first single from it Hey Jane pretty much achieves this. Itís a catchy hook laden piece that has been getting plenty of radio play. Iím not so sure the rest of the album necessarily follows that poppy route and in a way Iím glad as that would make it too easy to listen to it a few times and then file it away. Instead you get a collection of very well crafted songs encompassing all the elements of Spiritualized youíd expect. The strings, the choirs and the songs that mention Jesus and the Lord. It takes in all the various permutations of Spiritualized that make them what they are. There a couple of lack lustre moments Get What you Deserve and Freedom arenít strong enough for me to come back too often to them but as a counterpoint to that you get the fuzz laden almost Bad Seeds like I am What I am and the incredibly melancholy string laden ballad So Long You Pretty Thing the albums closer.

Far better than I was expecting and whilst not reaching the dizzy heights of the first couple of albums certainly a step in the right direction. DB

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