Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
In 1997, Spiritualized and Radiohead were locked in a duel of musical ambition. OK Computer earned more acclaim, but Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is actually the better album?a glorious attempt by Spiri... more »
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In 1997, Spiritualized and Radiohead were locked in a duel of musical ambition. OK Computer earned more acclaim, but Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is actually the better album?a glorious attempt by Spiritualized leader Jason Pierce to reconcile his breakup with keyboardist Kate Radley. Since then, Radiohead has gone on to make music even more challenging and adventurous?intellectually, at least?while Pierce, basically a solo artist with a revolving cast of hired hands, continues to ply orchestral pop and minimalist drones very similar to those he?s already produced. True, Pierce has an uncanny knack for gorgeous melodies, and he adds interesting touches to many of the 11 songs on Amazing Grace--pedal-steel guitar, gospel choirs, and trumpets that curl like cigarette smoke disappearing into the midnight air. But without the thematic heft of Lades and Gentlemen its best moments are exactly that?bursts of inspiration scattered among an album finds Pierce caught in a seemingly endless loop of his own making. It may still sound beautiful, but too often Amazing Grace comes off as mere formula. --Keith Moerer
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Michael Salmons | out in the garden shed | 06/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can finally say I agree with GOD on something... the Amazon review of this album is pathetic. Jason Pierce has finally done what I thought he should have done all along: fuse his beautiful songcraft with the Velvets-inspired adrenalin of early Spacemen 3. And the result is totally exhilarating. "This little life of mine" roars into life and you can just tell from the production and the performance, this song was recorded live. "She Kissed me" has a similar live feel. Whoever complained this was an unnecessary return to lo-fi in a bungled attempt to be more relevant (can't remember where I read that: Magnet? Mojo?) completely missed the point. Jason Pierce's music has always been about finding the source of life pulsing within our veins, the one thing that we all have in common. No rock artist has ever had such an intimate, poignant relationship with lifeblood. It's what makes Spiritualized such a fragile, bewildering, exhilarating- altogether HUMAN- experience.
As for the more spread out songs, mostly on side two (i own the vinyl), songs like "Rated X" and "Lay it down slow" belie a new complexity, evidence of further maturation of Pierce's songcraft. The maelstrom of noise at the end of "Lay it down slow" is the only way this bittersweet album could end. Amazing and wonderful. I couldn't stop listening to this album when I first bought it, and it shot straight to my shuffle (which means I want to listen to it a lot)."
Spaceman returns to Earth
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 06/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Amazing Grace® joins that ever-growing elite of albums named after a song title that does not appear on that album, in this case Spiritualized's version of the old hymn Amazing Grace, which had appeared in 2002 on the single of Do It All Over Again. That single was taken from the 2001 album Let It Come Down, an album that had been four years in the making and had been generally regarded as somewhat bloated and over-produced, with gospel choirs and 100-piece orchestras eventually detracting from the beautiful compositions that lay at the core of the album.
By contrast, the majority of this album was recorded over just three weeks at Rockfield, with a line-up comprising Spaceman, John Coxon, Doggen, Thighpaulsandra and Tom Edwards. Regular drummer Kevin Bales had been taken ill at the end of the preceding tour and was replaced for most of the sessions by Jonny Aitken. The band played live, without overdubs, and generally with no more than one day being devoted to complete each song, so that Amazing Grace® became, according to Spaceman, "a document of a recording of what it was like on each day". The result is a fresher, more spontaneous energy infusing the results, with each track contrasting or complementing the one before.
In some ways it sounds like the follow-up to Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space we never had, the more upbeat tracks such as the excellently-titled She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit) and its follow-up single Cheapster both back-referencing previous energy-bursts such as Electricity, while the slower numbers are held in check at four or five minutes in length.
Overdubs were added at the Roundhouse Studios and these included contributions from the British jazz alumni Evan Parker (sax) and Kenny Wheeler (trumpet). Spaceman and John Coxon had previously recorded with both as part of the Spring Heel Jack project Amassed. The instrumental The Power And The Glory has some of the best playing on the album, though perhaps as a result of the compressed recording time a couple of the songs and lyrics might strike the more fervent listener as Spiritualized-by-numbers"