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Sweet Heart Sweet Light

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iTunes Review

With leader Jason Pierce pushing his vocals closer to the front of the mix in recent years, Sweet Heart Sweet Light again finds Spiritualized coming close to accessible pop music in key spots. It provides clarity to a music that previously excelled as an oblique blur. "Too Late" cruises near convention, with a gentle folk melody that could pass for a Mojave 3 number. Elsewhere, there's still plenty of sonic detail; buzzing fuzz and psychedelic orchestration make "Get What You Deserve" a looping narcotic hit that ends in a torrent of feedback. "Headin' for the Top Now" dives deeper into the distorted sonic soup that made Pierce's work with Spacemen 3 such a welcome enigma. Weirdest of all is the unexpected team-up with New Orleans' gumbo-voodoo legend Dr. John for the co-written "I Am What I Am," where both artists find a way to make their presence felt and reach a common ground, where gospel vamps marry Pierce's harshest sonic attacks.

Customer Reviews

Love and faith

Saw J at the belly up in san Diego last week. I've been listening to spacemen for several years now. His music has shaped, cursed and broken me. Every album is a masterpiece and its good to know that the 46 year old chap isn't burning thin. Huh?

Spaceman strikes again

Great record, J Spaceman delivers just like he did with Ladies and Gents

Glad to see Spiritualized still making stellar music!

Spiritualized = Spiritualized

Jason Pierce has a formula. For many of us (including me) it works, so this album is good stuff. For those who do not know it, just buy one of his last 3-4 albums, and you'll get the idea. It goes something like this: 6-7 ballads with a mix of gospel-esque chorus and gentle string and/or piano accompaniments (or flat-out remixes of gospel favorites). Add some Jesus-be-my-savior-because-I'm-a-sinner lyrics. Subtract about 2 minutes of unlistenable discordant "improv." Add one or two faster-paced songs to get the toes tapping. Repeat every 3 years or so. That's it, and it is what it is.

Again, if you love the direction Spiritualized has taken since Laser Guided Melodies and Electric Mainline, you'll have a bunch of new(ish) sings to listen to and enjoy. I like it, though I hold to my belief that Laser Guided was his best work. There is not a lot here that is new or groundbreaking, but if you like the formula, you'll like the recording.


Formed: 1989 in Rugby, Warwickshire, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed from the ashes of the trance-rockers Spacemen 3, singer/guitarist Jason Pierce's group Spiritualized did not break away from his prior band's trademark hypnotic minimalism; instead, they perfected it. Drawing on the continued influence of the Velvet Underground, La Monte Young, and Steve Reich, Spiritualized staked out a common ground between minimalism and lush symphonics -- while powered by simple, repetitious motifs, their songs simultaneously blossomed into rich, shimmering sonic panoramas...
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