Friday, April 13, 2012

Music: Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light

I make no secret about my love for Spiritualized, so I am of course overjoyed by the fact that the new album is currently streaming on NPR HERE, and will be officially released on April 17th (next Tuesday!! I cannot wait to listen to it over and over and over again on my ipod, at work, at home, walking down the streets, basically everywhere).

I had always liked Spiritualized a lot, but it wasn’t until I saw them live for the first time that I actually fell completely and utterly in love with the music, the lyrics and just the entire performance. Since that time I have seen them live quite a few times, cumulating in the epic performance of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space at Radio City Music Hall a few years ago (yes, epic epic epic). They are one band I really cannot miss when they come into town, and I won’t be missing them this year either, thanks to my lovely friend Meg who bought me a ticket for my birthday. They are playing Terminal 5 on May 7th (see the official site for more US and world dates) and I intend to get there as early as possible in order to actually get a good spot.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to Sweet Heart Sweet Light over and over again this week and I can’t get enough of it. I don’t know how Jason Pierce actually does it, but he produces amazing lyrics that are actually quite simple at a first glance but astonishingly profound, moving and powerful, and then moulds them together with music to create soaring anthemic songs. I’m not going to stop myself from gushing about this album because it has really made me so happy this week. I think I can just always count on Spiritualized to produce songs that say exactly what I feel inside. I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but I’m really not exaggerating here. Listen and see for yourself.

On the whole I found Sweet Heart Sweet Light to be uplifting. While Songs in A&E had a more fragile feel to it (if you know Jason Pierce’s history it’s easy to understand why), this new album feels stronger and in general happier (if that is really possible, I’m kind of struggling to find the right words here). There is the real rock song Hey Jane, the stripped bare song Freedom, the distorted drug song Heading For The Top and the anthemic Too Late. My absolute favourite is Little Girl, just because the lyrics speak to me so much “Sometimes I wish that I was dead cos only living can feel the pain, sometimes I wish I could fly, you get so grounded and life will pass you by”. The Jesus/God metaphors in Life is a Problem are really smart. I always feel like Jason Pierce’s mentions of God/Jesus/religion are more of a comfort than an actual belief, more like the idea that there is something bigger than oneself out there in the world, rather than an actual belief in God. I could, of course, be wrong, but that’s what it feels like. Like I can’t save myself, but this bigger entity can help me. Make sense? Probably not.

Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is such a beautiful album. I’m just going to listen to it on a loop again all day until I have to go back to work. If you get a chance to see them live, don’t miss it as there really isn’t anything like it!

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