Fire Note Says: Spiritualized return with the excellent Sweet Heart Sweet Light that most definitely will be one of the best releases this year!
Album Review: 15 years is a long time to hit all the right keys but I feel the seventh long player from Spiritualized accomplished just that as Sweet Heart Sweet Light is Jason Pierce’s best record since his unforgettable Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space . This might come to some fans surprise as Sweet Heart took over eight months to just mix.
Much of this delay was from Pierce’s chemotherapy treatments to combat a degenerative liver disease. (Apparently he is OK now.) You would think that dealing with a serious health condition would have a direct impact for an artist and that clearly happened on Sweet Heart. The record really could have went either way with Pierce in that condition such as ultra depressing, spaced out or choppy. Instead, Sweet Heart comes across as an inspiring piece of art that captures the essence of his past successes and is a superb 60 minutes of music.
Everything here seems to work like the simple sweetness of the orchestrated intro “Huh?” and the laid back rocker “Hey Jane” that is an album highlight for its almost 9 minute total running time as it has attitude, pep and a confidence that has never been this close to the Spiritualized surface in recent albums. Pierce’s outlook is not always sunny side up on Sweet Heart as “Little Girl” has him singing the line “Sometimes I wish that I was dead” while “Too Late” once again addresses his struggles with finding love.
All of these pieces work together and drive Sweet Heart Sweet Light to its spectacular listening point. In fact, “So Long You Pretty Thing” closes the record down and incorporates everything Spiritualized has to offer in its 8 minutes with horns, a backing choir and then at the 4:20 minute mark the song transforms into a big sing along refrain that not only feels perfect but leaves you so satisfied that a repeat play is an immediate thought. The bottom line on Sweet Heart Sweet Light is that it was well worth the wait and once again places Spiritualized up into the elite category of artists that everyone always places them into!
Key Tracks: “Hey Jane”, “So Long You Pretty Thing”, “Too Late”
Artists With Similar Fire: The Flaming Lips / Lou Reed / Atlas Sound
Fat Possum Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony