Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Jason Pierce, principal member of Spiritualized returns after a four-year hiatus with Sweet Heart Sweet Light recently released on Fat Possum Records. Spiritualized was born in 1990 in the United Kingdom after Pierce split from his former band, Spacemen 3. Over the past twenty years, Spiritualized has evolved with an ever-changing membership; Pierce being the only constant member. Spiritualized is usually characterized as having a predominate space-rock sound as heard in significant albums such Lazer Guided Melodies (1992), Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space (1997), and Let it Come Down (2001). Their sixth full-length album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light takes a step back from Spiritualized’s space-aged days, landing them on a earthier, raw sound.
Spiritualized has formulated a tradition where he initiates his albums off with a small overture. He begins Sweet Heart Sweet Light with the simply titled, “Huh?”. You may scratch your head at such a curious title leaving your mind to wander through a fairy-tale swell of violins, synthesized twinkles, and faint whistles to ease your ears. Then, an unexpected swarm of accentuated musical layers reverberate through your speakers with a heavy guitar strumming explosion sprinkled with Pierce’s jagged edged voice similar to that of Liam Gallagher of Oasis of the lengthy, nine minute “Hey Jane.” The album slows down to “Get What You Deserve” echoing a white-noise static that filters through a slow swelling string orchestra. The track seems to drag on with its mellow drive and repetitive lyrics for a while. But then you’re in for a surprise when all of the sudden, the ending blasts you awake with its rapid additions of rattles and drum beats haphazardly falling through each incoming arc and trough of string orchestration. The pinnacle song, “I Am What I Am” grabs you by the shirt collar with its clattering tambourines and rolling piano rumbling underneath. Back-up singers vocalize in gospel fashion to amp up the attitude behind the song title’s statement.
Spiritualized took a great risk turning away from their infamous space rock synth but came out successful taking you on a journey littered with detailed melodic tiers accentuated with a gentle swelling string orchestra, white noise buzz, and gospel vocalizations. Spiritualized’s sixth album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light is currently out on Fat Possum Records.