Sweet Heart Sweet Light, by Spiritualized

With their seventh studio album, Spiritualized continue their legacy of ecstatic mourning, something divine and destructive, chaotic and focused.

The album begins with lush string arrangements and then takes a sharp shift to lead single "Hey Jane," a nine-minute garage jaunt with a jangly Velvet Underground sway. Halfway through the song, the band searches through chaotic ambiance for the next section. When the cacophony settles into the swell of emptiness, the band stumbles into something triumphant. A powerful guitar line enters as the music builds around it. When the momentum reaches its peak, Jason Pierce repeats the line "Sweet heart, sweet light, sweet heart and love of my life." This song captures many facets of Spiritualized — the bleak dissonance, the moments of hope, the endless question marks.

They attained something special on "I Am What I Am," which it owes as much to Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues as it does to the avant-garde rock of Sonic Youth. Chains and tambourines crash with the snare, the bass line is as soulful as a Motown offering. Pierce's vocals beam with lazy confidence, and the backing vocals have a '60s R&B sass to it. The song is as comfortable with its wailing atonal saxophones as it is with its in-pocket soul.

  • Album: Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  • Artist: Spiritualized
  • Label: Double Six Records/Fat Possum Records
  • Songs: (1) Huh? (Intro) (2) Hey Jane (3) Little Girl (4) Get What You Deserve (5) Too Late (6) Heading for the Top (7) Freedom (8) I Am What I Am (9) Mary (10) Life Is a Problem (11) So Long You Pretty Things

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