“Sweet Heart, Sweet Light” by Spiritualized

Spiritualized is a band often described as “space rock”, but it is not often that an album brings you so down to earth. Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is the result of harsh realities. It is the reflecting that you tend to do when you’re alone in your room and the inspiration you feel after it all.

The birth of Spiritualized bloomed from the downfall of frontman Jason Pierce’s previous band Spacemen 3 in the 80s. The lineup has been in constant change ever since with the exception of Pierce, but this cycle around and the curiosity of sorrow was successfully captured within the Spiritualized realm.

Amongst the lyrics of deep strength, there is the complexity of sonic instrumentals to back it up. If anything, the album should be credited for keeping it interesting with simplicity. The vocals stand solid with the roar of distortion and there are often breaks of simple ballads. Songs like “Freedom”, “Life is a Problem”, and “So Long You Pretty Thing” strip down a bit for a focus on how vocalist, Jason Pierce, can intricately play with melancholy concepts.

“Life is a Problem” in particular drags Pierce’s lyrics to translate his words of longing. “’Cause I’m lost and I’m gone and this life is too long and my willpower’s never too strong,” he proclaims above the stirring violins and whistles. It is the genuineness that places it as something of value.

Although the theme of sorrow lingers over the album as a whole, the album has some brighter instrumentals leading in. “Hey Jane” kicks it off with a steady guitar riffs and some room for some alternating solos. This is definitely where the band saved some room to let loose. Following immediately after though, is another playful track, “Little Girl”. It might be a tale of loneliness, but it includes some high pitched collaboration and a catchy chorus, “Hey little girl you’re on your own. Before we ride into the sun, get it on”.

If there is any song that would break the cycle a bit, it would be “Headin’ For The Top Now”. As the remainder of the album is a reminder of what you have lost or will never find, this is a song of giving everything up to get to the top. It is a good surprise and an easily relatable, bittersweet tune.

Spiritualized is a band of seven studio albums, so being to see another solid piece of thoughtful work is something that listeners can consider lucky to receive. This is an album of solitude, connection, and the dissection of what we want from what we actually see around us, even when we’re not up in space.

By Lauren Moquin

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