There's no need to introduce you to Spiritualized, but in case you have no idea who they are, they are a "space rock"/stargazing band from the early 90s in Rugby, Warwickshire, that formed from the ashes of Spacemen 3. Jason Pierce is the man behind Spiritualized, with his constant band members (currently with keyboardist Thighpaulsandra, ercussionist Tom Edwards, drummer Kevin Bales, bassist Martin Schellard, and guitarist Doggen).
By 1997, the band's become famous with their NME's Album of the Year, Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. At this time, they were so well-known that the other band members wanted more money for public appearances. These monetary disputes resulted in having the entire band sacked, which kind of resulted in somewhat erratic output, with their last few studio albums, Let It Come Down (2001) and Amazing Grace (2003).
In 2005, it would seem that main man and founder Pierce became seriously ill (
can I speculate drug abuse?, see comment) and spent the better part of his time at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, London.
What came out of it was an inspired medical hospital album called Songs in A&E, an album that took nearly two years to write and eventually released yesterday, May 27th.
I am looking at the CD's booklet, and there are an assortment of needles and tubes, done as artwork. Having said that, it looks like Pierce have had an obsession with medications, as Ladies & Gentlemen was originally conceived as a medicine bottle, that was ten years ago... the same direction with the minimalist art and text also appears on this latest album.
Besides from the hospital theme, the album seems to be revolves around fire ("I Gotta Fire", "Soul on Fire", "Sitting on Fire") and death ("Death Take Your Fiddle", "Borrowed Your Gun"), all held together by transitional pieces of music called "Harmony" (each harmony was done with different instruments, such as piano, accordion, mellotron, violins, etc.)
I liked the Dylanesque song "Yeah Yeah", the heavy breathing on "Death Take Your Fiddle", the soft and sweet "Goodnight Goodnight". I also generally liked all the "fire" songs, "I Gotta Fire" sounds a southern rock number, the orchestra on "Sitting on Fire", while "Soul on Fire" is a soulful pop song - it's also the band's lead single for Songs in A&E, so I thought this would be a great song to represent this album with.
So, since back to full health, Spiritualized will be touring throughout Europe and the US to promote Songs in A&E, including massive festival appearances. You can find Songs in A&E on Sanctuary Records, but the last I check their store, it doesn't have any information on the latest album. For hardcore collectors, Songs in A&E is also available as a medical book with bonus DVD, which looks absolutely fantastic. It's currently out of stock on amazon, but the price is pretty steep: $43.
Special bonus: "Come Together" from Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
Wed, May 28, 2008 at 10:16 AM
Not drug abuse but...pneumonia! Check it here: