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Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful Music Album Reviews

Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful Music Album Reviews
J Spaceman’s latest opus is gloriously satisfying and self-referential, refining his orchestral space rock with alchemical power.

Through sheer force of habit, sailing un-buffeted and serene through the winds of musical fashion, Spiritualized have reached their fourth decade as a paragon of musical constancy. Everything Was Beautiful, their ninth studio album, calls back to many of the band’s habitual influences: The Stooges, gospel, blues, free jazz, the Rolling Stones, et al., which the band finesses into a hypnotic mixture, capable of both savage intensity and benzodiazepine drift. More than anything, though, Everything Was Beautiful refers back to the band’s own gilded history—which would be a problem if they didn’t do it so shamelessly well.

While recording Everything Was Beautiful, Jason Pierce, once again operating under the J Spaceman moniker he has used periodically since his Spacemen 3 days, called on lessons learned when mixing Spiritualized’s classic third album, 1997’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, notably the power of carefully constructed layers. The two albums share a spellbinding mixture of astral ambience, artfully tailored musical density, and occasionally sharpened live fury, as well as an emotional depth not always evident in the band’s more glazed-out moments.

The similarities only creep onward: Like Ladies and Gentlemen, Everything Was Beautiful comes packaged as a medical accessory, the deluxe vinyl edition including gold foil inner sleeve and pop-out medicine boxes. There are plenty of musical and lyrical allusions as well, from the Quindar tones on “Always Together With You” to the choir on “I’m Coming Home Again.” Even the former track, the album’s lead single, speaks to Pierce’s retrospective bent: It was originally released in lo-fi quality on The Space Project, a 2014 compilation based around recordings from Voyagers I and II.

And yet, Spiritualized have refined their orchestral space rock into an alchemical power that goes beyond concerns about novelty. Relatively minor tracks like “The A Song (Laid in Your Arms)” or “Crazy” become heroically satisfying when bathed in the band’s familiar soup. Fuzzed-up guitars crash into towering string sections with the power of vengeful meteorites; rolling drum beats and tumbling bass move with the irresistible momentum of freight trains; thick brass arrangements coat the music in fat bluesy lines; choirs gild the vocal melodies with cosmic sheen; and you’re never far from a vertiginous climax.

Stronger songs become transcendent. “Let It Bleed (For Iggy)” has the kind of chorus that seems to have arrived carved in stone and handed down from the ages, its devotional howl the perfect cathartic payoff to the verse’s creeping melancholy. “The Mainline Song” captures the narcotic rush of adventure in a handful of well-chosen vocal lines that call back to the propulsive, Krautrock-in-space roll of classic Spacemen 3 songs like “Big City.” Elsewhere, “Best Thing You Never Had (The D Song)” glides with the yearning inevitability of the best blues melodies, its chugging guitar more akin to the Rolling Stones’ 1964 cover of “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” than anything released in the last 30 years.

At their best, there is a power and immediacy to these songs that lifts them beyond 2018’s compact and casual And Nothing Hurt, the simple melodies connecting like the call of a beating human heart. It helps that the sound is big but not bloated: Pierce plays 16 different instruments and employs more than 30 musicians and singers (including his daughter Poppy and longtime collaborator John Coxon), but individual sounds are well balanced in a mix where detail is not sacrificed to depth, the ligneous clatter of castanets still audible among the heavyweight sounds of brass and guitars. Audiophiles and headphone listeners will find much to enjoy; but there is an energy that belies the album’s long mixing process, suggesting these songs will be huge when taken live.

You could take issue with Spiritualized for sticking so closely to the blueprint they inaugurated more than 30 years ago. But the band always felt built for repetition and refinement, a cosmic home for Jason Pierce to grow comfortably old, away from an ever-changing musical world. And if Everything Was Beautiful calls back to Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, it does so in a way that suggests that the fires are still burning, only slightly dimmed by the passing of time. Everything Was Beautiful is like meeting an old friend and finding new shared memories, the nostalgia not yet worn thin. It’s another glorious argument in favor of getting high on your own supply.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful Music Album Reviews Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, April 29, 2022 Rating: 5

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