“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” Billy Pilgrim’s epitaph in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five
Straight up? I’ve got a soft spot for these motherfuckers.
Look, we’ve all got those albums. Those albums that just define a certain section of our lives. Back in the day, and when my shit was turned up to 1000, I heard Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space and it defined that specific time of my life. My shit was grand. It was over the top. And the huge fucking orchestration made sense. The songwriting was simple, poignant, and became gigantic. The sound was like the Stones decided to fly into space on a rocket named Holy Fuck with rockets made from orchestras and buildup. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. Spiritualized toured this album for fucking years. With a stage crowded with 200 plus musicians, each instrument and sound was there to fuck you directly in your face. Spiritualized released other albums after this. Nothing quite hit the same.
This album was six years in the making. These motherfuckers have been making music since the early ’90s (during that time they were known as Spacemen 3). Their style is simple: start small and simple (really fucking small) then build until minds turn into mint jelly. It’s like Tantric sex for your ear holes. The concept isn’t new. It’s basically what all fucking prog rock bands try to do. Difference with Spiritualized is, they actually know what they’re fucking doing. This album is something you can listen to multiple times and still find new shit inside. It’s an album to get so high to that you end up thinking that your carpeting is a big friendly lion that wants to be cuddled. Listen to this album loud. It’s the only way to listen. As gospel choirs join saxophone solos and guitars furiously strumming like chimps masturbating at the zoo and the orchestra continues to build until you think the buttons on your shirt will bounce off the back wall, you’ll thank me.
This album does what Ladies and Gentlemen … couldn’t. This album adds years and expertise to an otherwise already amazing band. Instead of lyrics that seem to be there just for an additional melody, you find lyrics like “I could be faithful, honest, and true. Dependable all down the line. But if you want wasted, loaded, permanently folded, I’m your man.” Even if you don’t enjoy the album, if you find this band in the city/town you live, go fucking see them. They are well known for their unbelievable live shows. And, with the way this album sounds at times, there’s a hint that this might be their last. I hope not, but really, do you want to take that chance?