Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

For new sounds, old sounds and favourite sound discussion...

Moderators: sunny, spzretent, BzaInSpace, runcible

Post Reply

Which album do you prefer?

Songs in A&E
9
27%
Sweet Heart Sweet Light
24
73%
 
Total votes: 33

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:05 pm

the last two Spiritualized records seem to sit as companion pieces to me. both more song based and cleaner sounding. you could expand this to Amazing Grace as a trilogy but I don't quite see it like that.
question is, which one is better? (obviously those of you who think both are bobbins probably don't need to contribute here).

here's how I rate them- I think the overall quality of both is about the same.

but in A&E this quality is concentrated in a few peaks, some songs that are total classics but some utterly poor ones (was a song every limper and more pointless than I Gotta Fire?. and the album trails off with a few sappy ballads in a row).
Sweet Talk, Sitting On Fire, You Lie You Cheat, Baby I'm Just a Fool- fine, fine songs.
the album does seem a bit 'bitty' with quite short songs across the board and no epics.

SHSL is more consistent across the board. there are no truly terrible songs on there, just some mediocre ones but even there I can see what he was going for. The album also seems sequenced intelligently, with a place for every song and they are all quite different and fulfil a function. I can happily listen to this record all the way through, even though Hey Jane and possibly Heading For The Top are the only true Jason classics. Hey Jane is one of the best songs he's ever written.

SHSL is let down by the production though. it's unsatisfying and just plain weird in places with dry vocals and bass that doesn't cut through.

these are the things that keep me awake at night.
anyone else got any thoughts?

Aquarian-Time
Known user
Posts: 612
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:22 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by Aquarian-Time » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:16 pm

Production is poor on SHSL, but the songs are in general very good. A&E just doeant have enough good songs on it.

clewsr
Known user
Posts: 1879
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by clewsr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:22 pm

I think I prefer SWSL. I really miss heading for the top from the live set and I am what I am.

The Dr
Known user
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:32 pm
Location: some forgotten memory/ midday of eternity

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by The Dr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:05 pm

A&E was always 'ruined' for me as i loved the acoustic mainline versions much more and i don't think as an overall album it has stood the test of time as well. the snippets from harmonie korine's mr lonely are lovely but always felt out of place, as though the album was songs collected and not an album, shsl although seen live first still was a delight to listen to (although i prefered the older bootleg versions of won't get to heaven- as i wrote before maybe bootlegs are ruining albums for people) and there are more songs i listen to on that than A&E but then i've had A&E longer so it is hard to compare the sustainability

yes i see the ag-ae-shsl 'trilogy' in that they are stripped down and building on the previous, maybe the same way lgm-pp-lgwafis- eventually became the album licd where it seems that concept of those albums was most fully realised
“You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness

'Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied.

'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.

'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!”

heisenberg
Known user
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:14 pm

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by heisenberg » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:56 pm

I agree to some extent with The Dr that I liked some of the acoustic mainlines takes on some of the songs better than their a+e final versions. A+E is the most bulky and inconsistent album from Spiritualized, which is perfectly understandable given that the recording was interrupted by its author technically dying twice. Ultimately, it leaves it feeling a little longer than it needs to be. It's good, but there's some stuff on there that passes me by a bit. Also, no individual tracks stand out for me so it's still mostly an album to be listened to as a whole I think. I need to be in the mood to play it, which is not the case with most other spiritualized albums.

Shsl is positive, bright with some production that is debatable. Can't deny how clear it sounds and that his voice sounds so exposed and beautiful. I love how the strings sound on this album too. I think shsl has more individual classics than A+E and will maybe go down in the canon as the more 'important' or relevant album. The only song that gets played from A+E these days is Soul on Fire, and a lot of people here are not so keen on it (personally I don't mind it).

So, for me shsl wins it. Another interesting game (or sacrilege) might be to compile one great album from A+E and shsl.

clewsr
Known user
Posts: 1879
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by clewsr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:19 pm

heisenberg wrote:. The only song that gets played from A+E these days is Soul on Fire, and a lot of people here are not so keen on it (personally I don't mind it).
I like Soul on Fire. So do my children. The sight of them singing along in full force is something to behold. Spriitualized for all the family.

I really love Baby I'm Just a Fool. Again so do my kids but that has the 'f bomb' in it so we try to hum over that particular bit.

I can cope with them shouting 'there's a hurricane in inside my veins', but not so much that they are 'So fucking weird inside' :oops:

runaway
Known user
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am
Location: the shadows

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by runaway » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:11 am

Amazing Grace and Songs In A&E are real low points for me. Almost lost me as a fan. I think that the last album represents a return to form.

toomilk
Known user
Posts: 2852
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:40 pm
Location: San Diego
Contact:

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by toomilk » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:49 am

No contest.

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:25 am

wow SHSL is winning by a mile which surprises me. the general impression I got was that they were liked about equally (by the fanbase in general as well as myself)

I'd go along with preferring a lot of the live versions of these tunes.
Many of the A&E songs I first heard in gorgeous warm acoustic mainlines versions. and of course SHSL was aired live in its entirety first. I listened to the bootlegs a lot and still prefer most of the live versions.

I'll say one thing though- A&E has better lyrics overall, surely?

The Dr
Known user
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:32 pm
Location: some forgotten memory/ midday of eternity

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by The Dr » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:28 am

i need to relisten to a&e to be fair (just stuck it on the old generic mp3) but look at the other stuff coming out at the time- silent sound, mr lonely ost, gutair loops etc, so for people to say it takes him a long time to do work...
“You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness

'Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied.

'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.

'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!”

The Dr
Known user
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:32 pm
Location: some forgotten memory/ midday of eternity

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by The Dr » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:35 am

heisenberg wrote:
So, for me shsl wins it. Another interesting game (or sacrilege) might be to compile one great album from A+E and shsl.


to fit on an 80 min cd

sweetheart in A&E

harmony one
huh
hey jane
you lie
life is a problem
got a fire
i am what i am
too late
don't hold me close
sitting on fire
freedom
death take
the waves
i'm a fool
borrowed your gun
little girl
soul on fore
so long
goodnight
“You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness

'Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied.

'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.

'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!”

shalloboi
Known user
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:25 am
Location: chicago, il
Contact:

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by shalloboi » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:51 pm

I do still like A&E, but as an album SHSL works a lot better as a whole piece. It seems like if A&E had wrapped up after 'baby I'm just a fool' it would've been a lot stronger- it ends on such an extended lull, which isn't normally what a Spiritualized album does.

niamhm
Known user
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:07 pm

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by niamhm » Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:13 am

Sweet Heart Sweet Light has been played considerably more round these parts, I like the way its structured and has a nice mix of Spiritualized styles on it,

Songs IN A&E is a strange one, I feel its just too understated in places, maybe even a couple a tracks too long, maybe.
I haven`t played it in a while, so I might just play it as I`m pottering around this morning, Unlike many, the Acoustic Mainlines show I saw an recordings I heard did very little for me, maybe this feeds into my ambivalence to Songs In A&E,

I certainly don`t see these albums and Amazing Grace as a trilogy, maybe AG and SHSL have some similar traits but Songs In A&E stands alone in the catalogue, a bit of a mystery really.

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:38 am

The Dr- I Gotta Fire would make your "Songs in Sweet Light" or whatever you wanna call it? really?
niamhm wrote:Sweet Heart Sweet Light .. I like the way its structured and has a nice mix of Spiritualized styles on it,
yep that about sums it up for me.
I still voted for A&E though because of the standout songs on there.

seems like most of us agree that A&E is a bit too long. or maybe it's just the sequencing. think about the amazing epics that close other Spz albums. by contrast, A&E just leaves you unsatisfied. does no one agree that the good songs on that album are REALLY good though?

bbbhenko
Known user
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by bbbhenko » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:01 pm

you lie you cheat is definitiely among the best spiritualized tracks ever, imho

The Dr
Known user
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:32 pm
Location: some forgotten memory/ midday of eternity

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by The Dr » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:01 pm

angelsighs wrote:The Dr- I Gotta Fire would make your "Songs in Sweet Light" or whatever you wanna call it? really?

yes, i find it fun whereas a song that is popular on it 'sweet talk' i find a dirge that never gets going

how many songs from a&e do you think are spz classics? off the top of mt head i'd say you lie you cheat only
“You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness

'Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied.

'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.

'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!”

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:30 am

The Dr wrote: how many songs from a&e do you think are spz classics? off the top of mt head i'd say you lie you cheat only
Sweet Talk
You Lie You Cheat
Sitting On Fire
Baby I'm Just A Fool

possibly Death Take Your Fiddle.
and when I'm in a generous mood, Soul On Fire? if you're gonna do a pop song, really do a pop song!!

heisenberg
Known user
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:14 pm

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by heisenberg » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:20 pm

Just played ...a and e this evening. Great album. Jason Pierce doesn't make bad albums. Anyway, one further point on a song from this album that seemed to not get mentioned at all in this thread.

I think Goodnight goodnight is a classic, but I loved the extended 'funeral home' version on the AM tour that predated the album and felt sad the album version fades out fairly quickly. Maybe would have been overkill on the album. On the other hand, might have been the outro the album needed after the relatively slow several last tracks.

mc
Known user
Posts: 933
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by mc » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:52 pm

Easy for me: Songs in A&E wins hands down. There are middling tracks on it, for sure, but the high points (Sweet Talk, You Lie You Cheat, Baby I'm Just A Fool, Don't Hold Me Close, The Waves Crash In) are utterly gorgeous and worthy additions to J's canon, and the duller songs are still fundamentally decent and forge their own ground. Whereas for me, alas, SHSL just makes me think 'meh'. I have two problems with it: one, the production really does sound like it was recorded in J's living room, and I think it really hurts the overall mood; and two, a few too many uninspired Jason-by-numbers ballads ruin whatever momentum the album can build. Little Girl, Too Late, Freedom, Mary - to me they're among the worst songs released under the Spz name, and the good songs just sound... well, lacking. Take Hey Jane: I was there for what must've been its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Hall, and it might well've been the best opening to a concert I have ever experienced. When the "Sweet heart, sweet light" section kicked in I thought I might hit the ceiling in the sheer gleeful bliss of it all, and I'd only had two pints! Hearing the London bootleg recording not long afterwards only cemented that opinion, but when I heard it on record... well, "Huh?" is what first came to mind. It had no oomph, no power, no dynamic, no crescendo, no catharsis. Still a wonderful song, just 'not quite right'. Same goes for the other great songs on the album - they just lack that ineffable something that makes a Spz record special. I can't hold it against J - he was seriously ill & skint and had no option but to record in a home studio. I don't hate the album; it's still fundamentally 'good', but I've come to expect more from J. Still, different strokes for different folks and all that, and I'll always look forward to new Spz material...

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:32 pm

heisenberg wrote:Just played ...a and e this evening. Great album. Jason Pierce doesn't make bad albums. Anyway, one further point on a song from this album that seemed to not get mentioned at all in this thread.

I think Goodnight goodnight is a classic, but I loved the extended 'funeral home' version on the AM tour that predated the album and felt sad the album version fades out fairly quickly. Maybe would have been overkill on the album. On the other hand, might have been the outro the album needed after the relatively slow several last tracks.
I agree regarding Funeral Home. I loved how he did that on the acoustic gigs.. on the album, it just peters out though...

jack white
Known user
Posts: 1710
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: Tralfamadore

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by jack white » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:06 am

A&E is up there with the great Spacemen records for me.

Those New Orleans funereal funeral horns on Sweet Talk.
J,s voice.
Sitting on Fire is one of my favourite ever tracks.
YL/YC & accompanying video.
How is Baby I’m Just a Fool not on the recent greatest hits set lists?!
Feel privileged to have witnessed Don’t Hold Me Close live.

One of my favourite times of being.

Huh?
gonna burn brightly
for a while

clewsr
Known user
Posts: 1879
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by clewsr » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:49 pm

jack white wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:06 am

How is Baby I’m Just a Fool not on the recent greatest hits set lists?!
This!

toomilk
Known user
Posts: 2852
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:40 pm
Location: San Diego
Contact:

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by toomilk » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:54 pm

clewsr wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:49 pm
jack white wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:06 am

How is Baby I’m Just a Fool not on the recent greatest hits set lists?!
This!
Lack of quality marimba players

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:09 pm

I agree that Baby I'm Just a Fool is a superb song, I wouldn't be complaining if it was in the setlist

is it me though or is the marima part pointless and adds nothing to the song?

Alex English
Known user
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:42 am
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by Alex English » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:40 am

[/quote]

Lack of quality marimba players
[/quote]

It is too bad Bo Wagner passed away last year.

olan
Known user
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:42 am
Location: Liverpool

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by olan » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:08 am

angelsighs wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:09 pm
I agree that Baby I'm Just a Fool is a superb song, I wouldn't be complaining if it was in the setlist

is it me though or is the marima part pointless and adds nothing to the song?
Disgraceful stuff! You'll be arguing to bring back the flute next. Down with this sort of thing!

:D

TheWarmth
Known user
Posts: 3898
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by TheWarmth » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:37 pm

I actually think these two albums are about equal. They each only have a couple of songs I don't like and many high points.

On A&E, I could easily live without "I Gotta Fire" and "Yeah Yeah." Both are complete throwaways. "Soul On Fire" is a particularly weak lead-off single, too. I don't know why it still gets played live. The rest of the album is great. I love the ballads and, of course, "You Lie, You Cheat". Spiritualized played Pitchfork Festival on the A&E tour and it blew my mind. Might be the best Spz show I've ever seen.

As far as SHSL is concerned, I agree that the production is a little off, primarily on the heavier tracks. I think that ballads sound great, though. I am probably in the minority in that I like all of the ballads. "Mary" is the only song that strikes me as subpar here. It just doesn't go anywhere interesting. "So Long You Pretty Thing" might be the best album closer the Spaceman has written so far. Just love that song.

angelsighs
Known user
Posts: 4478
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by angelsighs » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:01 pm

olan wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:08 am
angelsighs wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:09 pm
I agree that Baby I'm Just a Fool is a superb song, I wouldn't be complaining if it was in the setlist

is it me though or is the marima part pointless and adds nothing to the song?
Disgraceful stuff! You'll be arguing to bring back the flute next. Down with this sort of thing!

:D
ah Olan so you are pro-marimba but anti-flute? I can't countenance this I'm afraid :) you'll be saying you don't like pan pipes next ;)

glad that this thread of mine got resurrected- it seems SHSL is the clear winner. after previously rating them about equal, that's an opinion I've come round too also.

olan
Known user
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:42 am
Location: Liverpool

Re: Songs In A&E vs Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Post by olan » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:47 pm

angelsighs wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:01 pm

I can't countenance this I'm afraid :) you'll be saying you don't like pan pipes next ;)
:shock:

Post Reply