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Spiritualized Find Their Footing

By Lauren Guida
On April 20, 2012


On Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2012, the band Spiritualized released their new CD entitled Sweet Heart Sweet Light by Fat Possum records. On the day of the release, named it Album of the Week. This is the band's seventh album, and was written by producer and band leader Jason Pierce while the band was on tour. The album was inspired and based around the experience of playing their previous hit album (Ladies and Gentlemen We're Floating in Space) live for the past few years. One of the attributes that makes this album interesting is the fact that Pierce had written and recorded it under experimental chemotherapy, while fighting against liver disease, according to  Throughout the recording, Pierce referred to the album as "Huh?" speaking to the stupefied state he was in. Although not the classic rock-and-roll drug influence, it definitely provided some spark for the album. Although you might think it would be a touch depressing, it is actually an incredibly upbeat project.

            The first track up on the album after the introduction would be "Hey Jane".  With the slightly poppy and encouraging guitars and light background vocals, Pierce's voice sounds forward and rough in this track. His voice in contradiction to the soothing and soft background vocals makes this song interesting to contemplate or just listen to. This is the first single off the album, adding up to about eight minutes in length.

            "Get What You Deserve" combines Pierce's slow tempo lyrics and a bit of fuzzy background noise behind the guitar. Chaotic and multi-dimensional, the music and lyrics channels classic rock star angst as well as the universal feeling of being lost in the crowd. However, the melody and harmonics still give off a good feeling. It seems easy to sing along with just as much passion and purpose as Pierce puts forth.

            "I Am What I Am" starts with a beat that you could clap your hands to, with keyboard emphasis and even some sound effects using guitars and keyboards. The self accepting chorus could speak to millions and is easily identifiable. Pierce's chorus is accompanied by choir like background vocals, making it epic and emotional. It emphasizes Pierce's tone and message of the song.

            The sweet and simple "Too Late" laments blind love accompanied by violins and breathy vocals. It portrays a wisdom that comes with experience and losing love. Referencing a mother, the listener feels inclined to take the motherly advice that the speaker did not follow. Again, the speaker falls for love despite the warning, which adds another layer of depth to the lyrics.

            One might notice biblical references and names on the record, but Pierce is not religious, nor does the album really speak to religion as a whole. The symbols are used in a more thematic and universal way, which lends itself to the album's being so touching and relatable. Sweat Heart Sweet Light exudes upbeat but still sentimental songs that make this album a really great listen and thinking experience. 

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