2001 – BMG – 63 minutes
Much of the publicity surrounding the latest Spiritualized concerned the very public axing of the entire band by mainman Justin Pierce. Having ditched his 'Ladies and Gentleman...' passengers, but retained the old moniker, this album sees Pierce head for new territory. 'Let It Come Down' still qualifies for epic, but gone are the spacey wonderings of Spiritualized past, replaced here with orchestra-heavy redemption songs.
One hundred different musicians contribute to the album but it still sounds like a hugely personal project. Pierce appears to have finally found the song-writing niche he couldn’t attain in previous musical incarnations, and it should attract a more diverse throng of fans than his earlier releases.
While the album doesn't get off to a terrific start, with the rather dated 'On Fire', it soon proves its worth. 'Do It All Over Again' and 'The Twelve Steps' – a scurrilous dig at rehab – are Northern Soul-tinged cuts. 'Don't Just Do Something' sees nouveau Spiritualized in alt-country mode with this epic heart-on-sleeve stuff.
The hallmark of this album is its emotional honesty. Musically it traverses many boundaries, making a particularly soulful attempt at gospel opus. Die-hard Spiritualized fans may not like this renunciation of his musical past, but Jason Pierce's conversion is definitely a leap in the right direction.
Tracklisting: On Fire – Do It All Over Again – Don't Just Do Something – Out Of Sight – The Twelve Steps – The Straight And The Narrow – I Didn't Mean To Hurt You – Stop Your Crying – Anything More – Won't Get To Heaven (The State I'm In) – Lord Can You Hear Me