Having listened to "I'm Your Man" multiple times last night i have to say its a grower for me. Its by no means terrible. The warm horns give it a nice soulful dimension, the southern-country guitar tone is nice too and reminds me a little of Kenny Tudrick's playing on his solo album, even in the solo. Definitely more impressed with this than i was initially with Hey Jane, so thats positive.
I think my issue (and it is MY issue, not the music's issue) is that there is just sooooo much interesting and dynamic and engaging music out there just now that i worry that, as one of my all time favourite bands, there is a real danger that Spiritualized gets a bit lost amongst it. And i'd HATE for that to happen as they deserve to be up there with what i would consider as the best of the music i listen to. I would never doubt the effort or talent or technical ability of Jason as he is meticulous and committed in all that he does, so i could never moan about the effort and work he puts into each album either or the time it takes for the albums to appear.
What i mean by this is that i'd say most of the music i listen to nowadays is at the heavier/droney end of the psych spectrum. Spiritualized were always a band i associated with that too but, as time has went on, they drifted from that to more traditional song structures and a reduction in the drones and freakouts that i traditionally associated with their more psychedelic/drug influenced output and those were aspects that i really loved about the band.
Bands/artists do this all the time. They mature, their influences change and evolve and its only natural that this will have an impact on their output. But as a fan and someone who grew up with his output in both Spacemen 3 and then Spiritualized, is it wrong for me to want to see a glimmer of what i initially loved about the bands and the artist? I don't think so. It would be wrong for me to demand it, but i think it would only be natural for me to want to experience those initial heady days of the early albums and shows.
The same happened with Teenage Fanclub a few years back. A band i will love and cherish until my last days but whose more recent material i have struggled with as i feel its just not given me what i need from music. I still go and see them live (and will later this year) as i will Spiritualized when they (hopefully) come to Glasgow, its just that it doesn't press all my buttons like some other music does right now and that makes me feel bad as i don't want to feel like this about my favourite bands.
I, for one, will definitely be sad if this is the end of Spiritualized. Not because the album feels like an anti-climax or anything like that, but because i know what he has given us over the band's lifetime and i doubt there are many artists out there who will ever come close to matching his output, both now and in the future. That and the fact that i will feel old!
Sorry for the ramble. All this activity and the new songs has obviously stuck a chord. Felt i had to explain my point of view better instead of just saying "Nope not for me!"