Spiritualized's eighth album comes twenty-six years after their first, twenty-eight years since the group's inception and six years since their last, 'Sweet Heart, Sweet Light', and yet sounds as fresh and vibrant as if it were a debut. All the hallmarks of a great Jason Pierce album are present on his latest release. There are epic soundscapes, big walls of sound, squalls of noise and blankets of layered harmony.
'And Nothing Hurt' is a high point on the Spiritualized timeline, set to challenge the peak set by their 1997 album 'Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space'. Pierce has threaded together a concept album of sorts that takes us on a real journey to a fictional house. "They're all pop songs", "a drive tape", "to a road trip" Pierce has said. "The concept is simple but Rock n' Roll is at its best when it's simple."
The nine songs on the latest Spiritualized album start off with the gentle introduction of 'A Perfect Miracle'. There's an air of The Smiths, 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want', in the jangle of guitars that accompany the laidback, soothing and slightly mournful vocal. The first single lifted off the album, 'I'm Your Man' lifts the mood with its ever-building score and big, breaking soulful choruses.
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The Libertines' first reunion gig in London for four years was a critical success but the crowd were particularly badly behaved. The band's performance was interrupted two songs in by a crowd surge and the concert managers were forced to ask the crowd to stop throwing fireworks at the beginning of the set.
The Libertines' first reunion gig on English soil got off to a rocky start when overzealous fans surged towards the stage whilst the band performed at the British Summer Time gig in Hyde Park, London. This is the first time in four years the group has performed in the capital and their appearance has been praised by critics.
Pete Doherty performing with The Libertines in Glasgow last week.
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Listening to a Spiritualized album can be an emotionally exhausting experience. Their seventh album is no different from its predecessors in that respect, however it's also obviously been informed by Jason Pierce's choice in 2009 to revisit landmark album Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space. Underneath the deliberately obscure cover art of Sweet Heart Sweet Light you'll find a collection of songs that embrace religion, death and hedonism. They're lavishly composed with flourishes of orchestral gravitas and gospel choirs, accompanied by a liberal helping of guitar-based feedback.
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Review of Spiritualized's track Sweet Talk/You Lie You Cheat.
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Review of Spiritulized's album Songs in A&E.
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