Spiritualized – Sweet Heart, Sweet Light

Sweet Heart Sweet Light opens with a sumptuous, succinct instrumental (Huh?), before diving balls first into a nine-minute glam rock opus (Hey Jane) that’s four minutes longer than it should be. Little Girl opens with the line: “Sometimes I wish that I was dead,” before leading into one of the simplest and best songs J. Spaceman has written in years. If you’re after an analogy for Spiritualized’s career, you could do worse than this opening trio, and the pattern continues throughout. There are moments – like the brilliant Freedom and gospel-tinged I Am What I Am – of sublime clarity, where he sounds like delivering on his promise of a perfect pop album, a la Brian Wilson. Elsewhere, though, he seems destined to spin forever through the stratosphere on the back of an intergalactic tangent (the protracted Headin’ For The Top Now and Get What You Deserve). Many of Jason Pierce’s talents are apparent on this album. Unfortunately, restraint isn’t one of them.

3/5

Written for the Skinny

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