Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

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twentysixdollars
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Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:16 pm

You read that right. No question mark. It just is.

I'm practically in tears writing this. in fact this is my second draft (fucking board refreshing on me).

I remember playing LGM the first time. And the second time. And the third. Ditto Pure Phase. Ditto LAGWAFIS. And the last three, which I've purchased on the day of release as a music lover and nothing else. None of them, not one, not even close has made the immediate impact on me that Songs in A&E has.

The difference, I think, is a newfound and comprehensive commitment to pleasure. On first play I found the songs so brief and so discriminatingly wrought it was almost disconcerting: it felt almost like two truncated Spiritualized albums fused together, pivoting somewhere around "You Lie You Cheat" (a truly exhilarating waltz-time rocker, one of several uptempo classics on the album, several sounding something like the greatest Oasis cuts ever)...but then I realized that the two truncated Spiritualized albums I was hearing were the finest two Spiritualized albums I'd ever heard.

A&E contains more song material than any Spiritualized album ever. "Soul on Fire", "I Gotta Fire", "Sittin' On Fire" - those titles aren't (merely...) lazy, because these three songs are of a piece, and all three vie with Jason's greatest _ever_ compositions - they might even be _the_ three greatest. And the arrangements - the "God Only Knows" bassline, panned hard left, on "Sweet Talk" is only my favorite of many striking and unexpected touches. There is no trace of the slightly canned quality of the rhythm section on the last two albums; and the orchestra no longer seems superimposed over the drums and guitars, but integrated within them with imagination and restraint. Ideas are in every crevice; Jason's vocals are his most varied, athletic, and vigorous ever. All of Pierce's less agreeable habits of late are entirely under control: the punning, the pomposity, the lugubriousness. All that's left is craft, inspiration, and joy at being alive.

And Rachel Korine is at least twice the duet partner Mimi from Low (or for that matter Kate Radley) was.

Bravo, Hollywood Spaceman (special thanks: Samantha Morton). What a summer it's been. And what a summer it'll be...

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by bcastle21 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:05 am

It is quite an album. I can't remember the last time I played an album so much after buying it...it hasn't left my car stereo and I play it at home as well. What I've enjoyed are some of the nuances that have appeared after multiple listens....

....I'm also glad to hear some props for the trio of "Fire" songs...each gives some insight into the different things Jason is great at.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Multi » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:58 am

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:12 am

Multi wrote:How many times have you listened to it?
About three times a day since I got it, on vacation in Toronto on the 18th. So probably around 20 times. About as many times this past week, in other words, as I played Amazing Grace the first month I had it.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Multi » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:19 am

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by angelsighs » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:19 pm

wow. What a post for a return to the board $26. I would have thought you would have either hated A&E or damned it with faint praise but here you go surprising me with a big statement like that.

Its a fine, fine album, and I totally agree with you about it being all about the compositions. Jason has written some fine 'proper tunes' here- LICD had some similarly well constructed ditties but of course that had the added weight/bombast of those huge arrangements. Here he has hit just the right balance with the arrangements.

For me the record is jostling with Let It Come Down for my third favourite Spz album- have to see how it pans out.

I too see it as a record of two halves, but with Baby I'm Just A Fool as the pivot instead of YLYC. I do think it slightly trails off in the second half- Waves Crash In and Borrowed Your Gun are not really hitting the spot for me (although I have been known to be caught singing along loudly to the latter against my better instincts) and the version of Goodnight is a bit fast and clunky compared to the gorgeous live versions (and Funeral Home needs to go on longer grrr!!)

Sweet Talk- one of Jasons best songs ever. How does he do this with just two chords?
Sitting on Fire- the strings at the end get me everytime.
You Lie You Cheat- awesome rocker.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by SpaceLine » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Songs in A&E is a very good album. Not close to the greatest Spiritualized album ever though.

it is fighting with LICD for the 4th best ever and maybe winning because sweet talk is so very good.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:39 pm

Forgot to mention "Borrowed Your Gun". That one's freakin' awesome (kind of like his version of Van Morrison's "Street Choir").

One of Jason's other tendencies that is totally under control on this record is his tendency towards self-repetition; the rockers all have fresh (or freshly-borrowed) riffs, the ballads building on more diverse sources and taking more chances with arrangements and dissonance. Nothing on this one sounds like anything on Amazing Grace, which is saying something because it was really only production that distinguished the cuts on the last three albums from one another.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by TheWarmth » Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:44 pm

I really love Borrowed Your Gun, too, especially the lyrics. Not quite sure what it is about that song that some people don't like. It's one of my favorites on A&E.

Good post, $26. Still waiting for you to tear into GMF.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by is » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:12 pm

On the other hand...

I bought it about a fortnight ago (ie at least a week after it came out), and have yet to hear further than whatever track No is Death take Yr Fiddle (3... is it 3?). I didn't even put it in the machine for a week. What did I buy on the same trip?

Unhalfbricking by Fairport Convention, and I've been listening to that - especially Who Knows Where the Time Goes, which is just sublime.

I've also been listening (in the car) to the Basement Tapes, A Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band compilation, Raw Power, and (at home) Mudhoney (inspired by the fact that Spectrum have been doing When Tomorrow Hits in concert recently), and many many more, including the Shangri Las, Rolling Stones, Queens of the Stoneage, Mercury Rev...

Somehow an album full of breathing noises and 'Jesus is a bit like Heroin' and 'did you know I've been to hospital?'... well, I've had a bad month or two, and that just ain't going to do it for me for a while. Sorry.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by runcible » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:58 pm

is wrote:
Somehow an album full of breathing noises and 'Jesus is a bit like Heroin' and 'did you know I've been to hospital?'... well, I've had a bad month or two, and that just ain't going to do it for me for a while. Sorry.
Pretty unfair I'd say. I'm not overwhelmed by A & E but it's good, although $26's opinion that it's the greatest Spiritualized album is, in my opinion, totally over the top and completely incorrect. Your last criticism is a bit strong - these songs were written before Jason's illness. It's worth noting that he had a near death experience and not that many of us here have had those I hope.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by charles w » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:52 pm

I've played A+E four times and it's now residing in my 'never play these anymore' box. It may get dug out at some point in the future. Spiritualized 'by numbers' for me, formulaic and predictable. Gets my vote as worst Spz album.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by sunny » Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:32 am

:D Yeah, it's pretty fucking fantastic isn't it Mr 26!!! I'm glad you feel the same way... although I never really mind being alone in my opinions it's great too when other people share it. Thanks for posting this.
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by bcastle21 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:52 am

i'm surprised at the lack of people enjoying the closing few songs of the album and namely "waves crash in". i love the story behind the track (old man wishing daughter farewell, etc) and that end few lines...i know you think i'm staggering, but lately i've been staggering back home. beautiful stuff.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:02 am

bcastle21 wrote:i'm surprised at the lack of people enjoying the closing few songs of the album and namely "waves crash in". i love the story behind the track (old man wishing daughter farewell, etc) and that end few lines...i know you think i'm staggering, but lately i've been staggering back home. beautiful stuff.
I may be wrong, but I hear the distinct influence of The Beach Boys' "Till I Die" on that one...

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by ebbsandflows » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:31 am

Hello $26.

Well i dunno about best ever, but it's bought me back to the boards which the last two failed to do. Restraint is certainly amongst it's benefits which is something i never thought i'd like about Spiritualized. Single voiolin sounds where once would have been string sections. Notes are brushed with a fragility rater than somewhat overcooked and laboured.

Green vinyl number 2 gets my vote. Waves crash in (particularly good use of single violin), borrowed your gun is awesome, and goodnight goodnight shouldn't be great but it is.

Totally agree with the staggering lyrics. Particularly as the end (when home is actually mentioned) is barely audible. An album or two ago this would have been a 3 minute bombast with full orchestra. I'm not sure why but i also really love the chorus on borrowed your gun. Sums something up but i'm not certain what yet.

Yeah, it's well good, but i'm waiting a month or two before charting it . . .

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by is » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:10 pm

runcible wrote:
is wrote:
Somehow an album full of breathing noises and 'Jesus is a bit like Heroin' and 'did you know I've been to hospital?'... well, I've had a bad month or two, and that just ain't going to do it for me for a while. Sorry.
Pretty unfair I'd say... Your last criticism is a bit strong - these songs were written before Jason's illness. It's worth noting that he had a near death experience and not that many of us here have had those I hope.
Like I said, I got as far as Death Have a Fiddle, and switched off. I make no judgement on the remaining dozen (whatever) tracks.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by warmgun. » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:33 pm

is wrote:Like I said, I got as far as Death Have a Fiddle, and switched off. I make no judgement on the remaining dozen (whatever) tracks.
I find it hard to believe that someone who posts here regularly would switch off the new Spiritualized album after only four songs.

But if that actually is the case perhaps something more uplifting like Soul On Fire or Baby I'm Just A Fool are exactly what you need... especially after a bad couple of months. 8)

For my part, I've had a leaked copy of the album for a couple of months now (+ green vinyl), and after a bit of a break, I think I'm ready to re-immerse myself in it... especially after reading all of the praise within these pages!

I'd still like to be able to find a copy of the ltd. edition somewhere here in Montreal...

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by SpaceLine » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:35 pm

so you listened to 2 songs and wrote the record off entirely? one song, by the way, has nothing to do at all with his illness, heroin, jesus, etc.

seems odd to me. you care enough to sign onto a message board and post yet you can't be bothered to give the entire record one spin? :?:


edit: message in response to "is" not warmgun (who beat me to it).

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Stonedutch » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:20 pm

Best ever? Not even close.

With that said, it is indeed a great album. We're lucky we're able to get anything at all from Spiritualized at this point. On a few earlier albums, I was hooked instantly. This one had it's special moments upon first listen, but it took at least 5 complete listens to absorb it as a whole. Now it is beginning to seep into my system completely. Random melodies and lyrics will infiltrate my brain at the oddest moments - like in the middle of the night when I wake up to go to the toilet half asleep. 8)
"Where I stand is only three miles from space ..."

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by is » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:28 pm

I'm not just being deliberately provocative, or iconoclastic - I'm genuinely less than enthralled by it all. In my opinion, the whole Spaceman 'thing' has been diminishing returns since Pure Phase (Let it Come Down and Ladies & Gents, I consider merely to have briefly stemmed the entropy), in terms of recorded output, at least.

As to why I log in here: I don't know - I guess I just *really* like the kind of music we like.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by runcible » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:38 pm

is wrote: As to why I log in here: I don't know - I guess I just *really* like the kind of music we like.
That, for me, is a good enough reason for anyone to log in and make comments here.

Spiritualized are one of the most important bands I have ever encountered and have had a huge influence on my life but there are bands I like more these days. The debate and music discussion here (Spiritualized or other) makes it a stimulating environment so I'm still here after all these years. Plus I'm still a huge Spiritualized fan - that helps of course!

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by is » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:49 pm

Indeed - I mean, for the last however many years (ie between releases), this here forum is only NOMINALLY the Spiritualized forum. And until the powers that be devise, launch and maintain http://www.ledzepbeatlesbyrdssonicyouthbeachboyshypnoticssupremesbookerTandtheMGsfunkadelicrutlesnirvanaisleybrothersrollingstoneshawkwindpixies.com... where's a fella to go?

Anyway - that's enough of my shit... at least until I've endured the entire disk.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:13 pm

is wrote:Indeed - I mean, for the last however many years (ie between releases), this here forum is only NOMINALLY the Spiritualized forum. And until the powers that be devise, launch and maintain http://www.ledzepbeatlesbyrdssonicyouthbeachboyshypnoticssupremesbookerTandtheMGsfunkadelicrutlesnirvanaisleybrothersrollingstoneshawkwindpixies.com... where's a fella to go?

Anyway - that's enough of my shit... at least until I've endured the entire disk.
For what it's worth, is, I consider "Death Take Your Fiddle" the least rewarding cut on the album and the most reminiscent of the general atmosphere of Amazing Grace...but it seems to me that "Sweet Talk" would at least do something for ya...

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Stuart X.Hunter » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:33 pm

FWIW....I think it's the most "real" SPZ album...most human(e) perhaps...fcuk knows but it's clear...clear pure message...just what the doctor ordered as far as i'm concerned...i think it's nowt like anything before...it's that fresh. I'm sure I've said this in another thread.
Fuck it...$26, i'll have some of that "greatest" shit...it's now toppled PP off the top. I'm happy, you're happy, everybody happy? Get Happy.
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by ro » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:11 pm

eleKtroniK:musiK wrote: "real" ... human(e)
yes..
I won't go for "greatest" but I think it's more sincere and personal than the others, and this is where the power of it lies rather than in the actual music (with a few wonderful exceptions.. )

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by bcastle21 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:17 pm

maybe this should be a different topic...but...

...i feel like some people expect "space" rock from spiritualized and if they don't get that they get disappointed.

i mean there are plenty of these bands around nowadays (that pretty much owe their careers to Spacemen 3/Spiritualized) to listen to.

I just hate hearing when something is not to someone's taste they claim the artist is "out of ideas" or something silly like that.
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:19 pm

I have a question.
You have 4 of your best friends, all high out of their minds in your living room. Everyone thinks they have tinitis due to the ringing in their ears. It's time to put the acoustic guitars away, you have to keep the neighbors at bay. You have a vast record collection, but feel that Spiritualized will best titillate the ears of your guests at 4AM. Do you pluck Pure Phase from your wall of records, or A&E? Do you start with Side 1 or Side 3?

In this situation, I would 67% of the time start with Side 3 of Pure Phase, Lay Back in the Sun. I'm curious to here what you guys would do, given this difficult situation.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:48 pm

bcastle21 wrote: I just hate hearing when something is not to someone's taste they claim the artist is "out of ideas" or something silly like that.
Well, although I've learnt to appreciate it to some extent, I must protest that Amazing Grace did exhibit considerable evidence of Pierce being out of ideas, what with all the rewrites and rehashes. That's one of the main reasons why the resolutely original, richly diverse A&E astonished me so much.

And it's funny that we're referring to A&E as Pierce's most honest album yet when it's also the least lyrical, i.e. the one most mediated through narrative ("The Waves Crash In" being the example most discussed thus far...but also "Borrowed Your Gun", and "Death Take Your Fiddle" - never before has the relationship between the speaking I of Pierce's songs and his putative self been so tenuous.) Pretty interesting!!

That's why I just say greatest

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:31 am

"oh babe, I'm going nowhwere, but nowhere's where I want to be, oh babe I'm good for nothing, nothing is good enough for me." Lyrical genius all over let it come down.

THE ONLY TIME I'M DRINK AND DRUG FREE IS WHEN I GET MY DRUGS AND DRINKS FOR FREE?

does it get better than this ladies and gentlemen?

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by LUFC_SPACEMAN » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:14 am

going to, and listening to the acoustic mainlines gigs so much before the album release has prevented me from getting hooked to songs in a and e as I seem to to have known the songs for ages. might leave it a while before i listen again, hopefully I'll appreciate it later when the songs aren't as familiar.

in the mean time I'm going to listen to kid a repeatedly.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:06 am

I'm going to have to say Pure Phase is my most listened to album. So much so that I had to replace my original copy. I can tell you the first place I heard it, and the last place I heard it, which is something else!

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by bcastle21 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:20 pm

twentysixdollars wrote:
bcastle21 wrote: I just hate hearing when something is not to someone's taste they claim the artist is "out of ideas" or something silly like that.
Well, although I've learnt to appreciate it to some extent, I must protest that Amazing Grace did exhibit considerable evidence of Pierce being out of ideas, what with all the rewrites and rehashes. That's one of the main reasons why the resolutely original, richly diverse A&E astonished me so much.

And it's funny that we're referring to A&E as Pierce's most honest album yet when it's also the least lyrical, i.e. the one most mediated through narrative ("The Waves Crash In" being the example most discussed thus far...but also "Borrowed Your Gun", and "Death Take Your Fiddle" - never before has the relationship between the speaking I of Pierce's songs and his putative self been so tenuous.) Pretty interesting!!

That's why I just say greatest
Yes, I would say it's actually hard to miss the originality of this album.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Multi » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:43 pm

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by jack white » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:42 am

y'know, i very tempted to agree with $26. but i share the problem with those who have had it since the early leak and am ever so slightly burned out and over familiar with it already(!)
it isn't my favourite spiritualized record (yet) but it could well be jasons greatest LP. it's a masterpiece. (and i called it as one a while ago!)
twentysixdollars wrote:the orchestra no longer seems superimposed over the drums and guitars, but integrated within them with imagination and restraint. Ideas are in every crevice; Jason's vocals are his most varied, athletic, and vigorous ever. All of Pierce's less agreeable habits of late are entirely under control: the punning, the pomposity, the lugubriousness. All that's left is craft, inspiration, and joy at being alive.
this in particular is what grabbed me to begin with and i agree wholeheartedly with everything else that isn't in bold.
and in fact i'm kind of envious of those dissenters and doubters amongst us: it's a record with such a warm and lovely vibe that it's nigh-on-impossible not to be swept off your feet if you give it a chance and too live through that glow again would be wonderful. and those that haven't felt it yet WILL. give it time or just try and you'll find something of worth in it. like $26 says, j has cut out a lot of extraneous stuff, ground that we've been over time and again (no lord let it rain on me for instance; very few lord references at all really in comparison), while polishing other retreads into an invigorating and powerful as ever pristine condition while adding glorious technicolour flourishes. still wearing his influences on his sleeve, but they are conveyed in a manner that is utterly fresh and intoxicating and enpowering.
i think it is an absolutely beautiful record and am happy others are hearing and seeing it too and i think that those with doubts will find a true treasure when they revisit it in a more generous mindset. and i am jealous of them cause my experience with this record is something that will stick with me for a long, long time. a masterpiece.


edit: and another thing i want to say is how much i've been grooving on the run of form and recent release for j. i think his work over the past 4 or 5 years has not only been prolific but easily the most exciting things i've heard a rock n' roller do for... god knows. i know others don't agree but i think he's been on an amazing stretch just recently and am excited to see this suicide cover.
one thing i do want is an album solely consisting of the style of amazing grace to present day rockers. put 11 or 12 tracks on there and it'd be over in about 30 minutes. make it happen, man. or even 7 or 8 would be better. their ability to fucking rock is severely underrated, particularly on here.
gonna burn brightly
for a while

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by helterskelter » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:12 am

I think Pure Phase is hugely underated/neglected

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:56 pm

I don't mean to be a bummer. I'm 30 years old now, so a lot of this post relates to that, and what it was like finding Spiritualized stuff when I'm 17. If your just getting into Spiritualized now, I highly recommend combing the record shops for older Spiritualized material.

Pure Phase still gets the vote from me. Most importantly, it's the most pleasurable and original listening experience.

And although A&E is enjoyable, there was something cool about Jason putting out singles like Electric Mainline which had absolutely 0 chance of getting played on American airwaves. I don't know what they play over there in the UK, but Spiritualized were never on TV/radio in the States during that era. A&E was previewed in the LA Times which is just weird. Previously, tt was music for people who liked to go to record stores and search for records. That was before Soulseek and iTunes, we used to trade tapes of the singles we couldn't get in America, things like luminescence and effervescence, or whatever those tracks were called. I remember finding Feel So Sad 12" and playing it for my friends. Of course Jason has to adapt to the iTunes/internet generation, I just feel a little nostalgia for the insanity and integrity of the original Spiritualized work. Maybe that's just the difference between being 15-17 and 30. Maybe the kids have new stuff to look in the record shops for.

I used to love how Jason turn songs like Take Good Care of It (Pure Phase/Fucked up Inside) from, "pop songs" to trippy psychedelia that would never get played on the radio, anywhere. I read somewhere that Jason cut minutes off several of the tracks on A&E, I'd love to hear them in their entirety....

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:30 pm

dselevan2 wrote: Pure Phase still gets the vote from me. Most importantly, it's the most pleasurable and original listening experience.
I like Pure Phase a lot too - it's almost certainly my second favorite Spiritualized album - but I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that had Lazer Guided Melodies or Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space been the first Spiritualized album you heard, you'd have made the same statement about one of those (which seems to be the case for 90% of the regular posters here) instead...
I just feel a little nostalgia for the insanity and integrity of the original Spiritualized work
Pure Phase is arguably Jason's most audacious LP, but that doesn't make it his most representative. (Although again, both LAGWAFIS and to a lesser extent Amazing Grace contain elements as commercially untenable as "Electric Mainline" - "The Individual", anyone? "The Power and the Glory" (arguably the finest single cut on AG)? Furthermore, Lazer Guided Melodies is as poppy and digestible a Spiritualized album as there is - there are almost no hard edges and the fact that the singles didn't exactly burn up the charts says more about Dedicated's promotional budget than their contents. Its ambitions are pleasure; ditto Songs in A&E. Difference is, Songs in A&E does it better. And grittier. And swifter.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:39 pm

I got the Individual as the B-Side to Let It Flow, my favorite tracks of Ladies and Gentlemen We're Floating in Space were either B-Sides to Pure Phase, or played live during the Pure Phase tour.

Thanks,

David

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:18 am

dselevan2 wrote:I got the Individual as the B-Side to Let It Flow, my favorite tracks of Ladies and Gentlemen We're Floating in Space were either B-Sides to Pure Phase, or played live during the Pure Phase tour.

Thanks,

David
A lot of people's favorite tracks on Pure Phase were either Spacemen 3 leftovers, released in the short wake of Lazer Guided Melodies, or otherwise played live during the '92-'93 period. When Pure Phase appeared in 1995, about half of it (maybe more) was already familiar.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:53 am

You have a good point there....
I think you are referring to, "These Blues" or "So Hot." I dig those tracks and have listened to Jason's side of Recurring more than Ladies and Gentleman We're Floating in Space by 10. And if you compare the song I mentioned above from Fucked Up Inside to Pure Phase, he changed it dramatically. Almost unrecognizable? Take Good Care of It. I don't disagree with you at all, I'm excited you are excited, and I do not find that Jason's song crafting has deteriorated.

As I said, I'm old, and I'm dealing with modern times. I miss going out and finding those obscure Spiritualized tracks/records/cds on accident at the local record store. Songs that were too, "crazy" for the masses. I miss the, "audacity" of them. Now everything is set up for a convenient $.99 download of Soul on Fire which clocks in at a perfect 3:30. Much different than finding Feel So Sad (Yes a Spacemen 3 leftover) that I had to turn over to hear the whole song. That really blew my mind. It's not the song, mind you, but the way Jason presented it to me.

I'm not saying that A&E isn't great. The songs are as good as any Spaceman's written. Great adult contemporary. Some great rock, and some great gospel blues. I think that little itch that I cannot seem to scratch is that everything seems to be edited to fit nicely on a downloadable single. I don't want to get negative. I think Jason is a genius. He hasn't surrendered to making a commercially successful album yet, so maybe these short tracks are what he wanted to accomplish artistically. It could have been a purely artistic decision, I don't pretend to have a clue why a genius does what he does. And Jason is a genius in my book. I'm hoping the live show will blow my mind open to the possibilities of these amazing songs.

I really do love A&E, I was very excited when I first heard it. Now my record is sitting on a table, and Sound of Confusion has been played 5 times. But than again, I'm an old man! Maybe I'm just being nostalgic. OOh I just put on the Medication single. I like 8 minute singles better than 3 minute singles, sue me. Once I was in the $.99 bin of Lou's in San Diego and found me an Arista sampler with a killer 3+ minute version of Lay Back in the Sun, so it's not ALL about length.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by ro » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:11 am

some disjointed stuff from last night, just ruminating:

many things can be said about this album but I think "out of ideas" is not one of them. yes, several typical and classic spaceman themes get repackaged. But how can you listen to Death Take Your Fiddle and call it "spiritualized by numbers"? much of what he's done here seems totally fresh and new.

I've always been slightly (or very, in some cases) put off by a certain percentage of Jason's music yet completely drawn in by the balance.. indeed, if this was my album :roll: I'd make changes (starting with the pace and the sequence..) I really dislike the "Doo-doo's" in Baby.. but when the break comes around I am transformed. f*ing amazing and out of this world beautiful. Since I'm no musicologist I've got to approach it this way: how it makes me feel. if I was, say, a drawbridge operator , when that break comes round, the boats would just have to wait until I'm done jumping around the room.
And then I think how I'd much rather hear his unadulterated voice on You Lie you cheat.. it'd be much more powerful i.m.o. and would more suit my taste ... without fail, I skip over "I gotta fire" ... all choices he made for whatever reason. I can easily make criticisms but when it comes down to it, I end up trusting him/them.. Like the reasons will be revealed to me later. structures to work off of.. ? this music keeps me thinking about it, wondering about it, while also enjoying (most of) it.

other people and bands do things that I don't like that much and I just shrug it off and move on. Something about the way Spiritualized does things retains my interest no matter what. It's like some underlying faith I have in them.. often maybe I like his influences better than his outfluences but I'm always riveted. I guess... I kind of like the challenge of knowing there's going to be parts I don't like along with the truly incredible stuff. Something draws me to this music and it's not just/always the music.. it's always been that way for me w Spiritualized.. it's the way it's made, the reasons it's being made, the devotion and intelligence/consideration with which it's being made that attracts me to it.

A&E It's a very theatrical production. I can almost picture the Broadway musical, children's chorus and all. Children singing backup vocals was voted "worst musical mechanism" or some such thing in a survey I heard about, voted as one of the top 5 things people do not want to hear in a song. So I always think of that and laugh when I hear them here.. but knowing at least in parts, it's the Spacekids themselves brings some truly genuine aspect to it. it's intensely personal, don't you think?
seems v fitting Jason mentioned he was, for the first time, trying (before getting sick) to "write characters" for this record.

same with those Pastoral Symphony trills . (in.. waves crash in?) they're almost corny, like kids singing, but they're presented with no.. with nothing other than what they are. reminds me of something Nick Cave once said about Tammy Wynette but what it was, I don't recall. Something about sincerity. Children singing "La-La-La": how basic can you get? it comes off great in the end for me cause it's not .. nothing's trying to be what it isn't.

I'd love it if the show (electric gig,not Broadway musical) closed with Borrowed your Gun.
ineffably universal.

yes yes,,, the themes, musical and otherwise, get remodeled over the years.. I'm not bothered by it. I see Goodnight Goodnight as Lord Can You Hear Me reworked. But.. now it's a lullaby, to actual children. It's adapted to fit current reality, a role reversal from the original, which makes perfect sense to me.

I love what I love about A&E.


and of course sweet Talk is divine, sublime, ,,,

now I'm off to hear my favorite Iggy Pop song, Brick by Brick, which I see as a sort of companion piece to this record.. seems like it comes from a similar place.
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by ro » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:26 am

and another thing...
I was thinking how I sure wished, like someone said in another thread or a few posts back, I forget: but I sure wished Funeral Home went on and on, building to a fantastic crescendo at the end like it done in the live shows. But indeed, and here's like the reasons coming to me later, indeed it is quite literally a lullaby. it's the end of the record, go to sleep already. then, sparse. quiet. funeral.

I would've liked it better the other way, but it's this way for a pretty good and interesting reason.

if I'm understanding it correctly.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by runcible » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:26 pm

Dave - what's all this about you being 'old'? There are several people here who are getting on for 50% older than you - 3 of the mods for starters (myself included)!

The thing about Pure Phase - and why it felt comparatively less good than LGM at the time - is that so much of the material was, as $26 says, very familiar to fans: Medication, All Of My Tears, These Blues, Let It Flow, Take Good Care of It, Lay Back In The Sun had all appeared in some form or other (of course These Blues was only on hissy bootleg cassette). Plus other tracks had been on the live circuit for a while too. I like PP much more now than when it came out - at the time I was very disappointed, yet the gigs at that time - Jongleurs and Shepherd's Bush Empire (where I managed to get run over by a bicycle after) were quite incredible.

I regard LGM as the greatest Spiritualized album because it's got the best music on it. Sure it was the first album I heard but I'd bought every single on release before that as well as going to Spiritualized gigs that took place before anything had come out at all. By the time LGM had appeared Jason had released the best part of an album's worth of singles anyway - all of which are amazing, but when LGM appeared it eclipsed everything that had come out before.

That's why it would make the top 5 greatest albums ever made for me (Perfect Prescription being number 1 in case people are curious), yet no other Spiritualized album gets a spot.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:10 pm

Hey Runcible,
I guess it just feels weird to be at a mid-way point. I first got into Spacemen 3 when I was 15, and now I'm listening to them still at 30. So, I've been listening to Spiritualized 1/2 my life. I have to say that my age/location has a lot to do with my comments. When Pure Phase came out, living in San Diego, it would have been virtually impossible to find those tracks you mentioned on hissy tapes, bootlegs, or otherwise. I think Pure Phase was in the display at Lou's Records when it came out, but the CDs for anything else (including Lazer Guided) were actually difficult for most people to find until it was re-issued. You could make a friend at a record shop and find some of the more obscure stuff, but it required some work to acquire anything pre-Pure Phase in that pre-Soulseek, pre-iTunes, pre-Ebay world. In general, it was the record shop folks at Off the Record and Lou's in North County San Diego who helped me get anything pre-Pure Phase. I was only familiar with, "All of my tears" when I heard Pure Phase, just because someone played me Playing With Fire one evening when I was on acid in Hillcrest. That was kind of weird, but it was such a short part of an epic album. The rest was completely new to me. I agree that Lazer Guided Melodies is amazing. Although I get the most satisfaction from Pure Phase, if I were to play Spiritualized to someone for the first time, it might be Lazer Guided Melodies. Have a good one everyone. Not trying to be negative at all, I'm just gravitating towards the older stuff.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by runcible » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:39 pm

Fair point, but then there are people on this board who are in their mid 40's and who've been listening to Spacemen 3 for over 20 years. I was very lucky to have witnessed Spiritualized's formation and very early gigs, only because it continued when the Spacemen split up and I hung on news to find out what projects were happening. Same with early Spectrum shows - I consider myself very fortunate there - I struck gold.

You could've found that music in the era you mention too - you just needed to search for it. I was selling masses of stuff mail order from about 1991 to the U.S. - in fact a great deal of my 'threeb' list (which is what we used to affectionately refer to the Spacemen obsessive) resided in the U.S. - you even asked if I'd sold you stuff back then & I might well have done. A lot of my old customers are forum members here. I met spzretent through the mail order set up I used to co-run - spzretent ran a store with a huge Spacemen 3/Spiritualized fanbase and traded thousands of dollars worth of rarities with me for many years. You'd probably have wet yourself if you'd have gone into his shop as it was packed with all the music we're discussing here. AND the hissy bootleg cassette I had back them of These Blues was sent to me by none other than the marvellous Chris Barrus of Bomp Records - which again is in the U.S.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by redcloud » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:03 pm

Difficult to weigh in here with what has already been said. I do think it is very important to keep in mind that we have had LGM for nearly 17 years. Much of 'Pure Phase' for nearly as long and 'LAGWAFS" for 11 years. We have had many years to digest these albums, listen to them, grow with them and have our own personal relationships/experiences with its music.

'Songs in A&E" is so new it is hard to write off and it is equally hard to make such a monumental statement as "Best Spiritualized record ever". Perhaps it is, but what I do know is that I personally need more time with it. I will say though that this new set of songs has captured my attention and interest like no other Spiritualized album since LAGWAFS. It is the sound of a maturing Jason and one we should welcome and celebrate. Who wants a rehashed LGM? Fresh blood is important as are fresh ideas and taking risks. To me, this new album is full of risk taking and fresh ideas. To think of it, that is exactly what I loved about LGM at the time too.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by spzretent » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:26 am

As they say "to each his own".
But the three Spiritualized lps that have had the biggest impact on me are right in order:
Lazer Guided Melodies
Pure Phase
LAG
The rest of the catalog is great by any other bands standards but the first three had by far the biggest affect on me. And as many people on this message board know those lps bear no resemblence to the ridiculous live shows in that era. They blew your head off night in night out. And Jason continues to do that. Hell, even the acoustic shows brought out emotions one wouldn't think possible and to people who had never seen any version of Spz at all. I'm listening to Boston as I type actually!
So yeah us old farts have are opinions too! And years of sonic abuse to our ears to prove it.
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:35 am

And I understand that Pure Phase was very new to me, while being somewhat old to some of you guys. I got into Spacemen 3 first, but Pure Phase was the first rercord album available to people like me with release. After that, someone in the UK (maybe from this board) sent me a copy of LGM with 7". It too is a great album, I can't really decide between Pure Phase and Lazer Guided Melodies. But that Pure Phase tour....! I'm ranting about that agian...

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by jadams501 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:05 am

Yeah I too must respectfully disagree with the idea that A&E is THE GREATEST Spiritualized album, because it's such a departure in many ways. I think Amazing Grace is misunderstood; though often dismissed as a retread, I love that it boiled down everything that made up Spz and Sp3 into one loud and representative blast. I felt it was thrilling and far more involving than Ladies & Gents, sort of the flipside of LICD. LGM is my favorite for best songs, best atmosphere, and best production. Pure Phase I think was overcooked and lost in all the endless mixes the magical energy that those songs had during the live performances around 1993-1996, my favorite era of the Spz sound.

Everything from LGM to Amazing Grace, even when I disagreed with the creative decisions, was the logical extension of what had been done before, I felt. It seemed like Pierce was ever zeroing in on the white hot core of the Spiritualized aesthetic. Honestly, I think he achieved it with Amazing Grace (a great, listenable, unpretentious record) and had nowhere else to go in the narrow confines he had constructed for himself.

A&E has some great moments, for sure, but I also find much of it to be tentative and awkward. I always liked that Sp3 started with lyrics ripped from the blues, because it gave Spaceman's projects grounding in the past and always made it seem totally classic no matter how much modern noise was piled on top. With a lot of the words on this record, I feel like Spaceman is back in 1984 figuring out how to write lyrics for the first time, with sometimes striking but also sometimes juvenile lines... especially in songs I otherwise love like Soul On Fire and Baby I'm Just A Fool. Also, the production seems a little off --- it strikes me as a bit too indie rock, a little too Arcade Fire for my tastes. I appreciate that he's trying to be warmer and more organic, and I think it works on I Gotta Fire and You Lie You Cheat, but as much as I love Baby I'm Just A Fool and The Waves Crash In I don't think it quite coheres as brilliantly as it has in the past. And I'm saying this as someone who really enjoys his orchestral material.

I'm glad that Jason, if he feels he's reached a dead end, is branching out, but I don't feel that this record is his masterwork by any measure.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by norrin radd » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:45 pm

personally, i dont believe Jason anymore, well, i do, i'm sure he's an honest bloke, but a lot of the vocals on a and e sound TOO forced for my liking, i loved sitting on fire on the acoustic tour, but on the lp (and on a few other tracks) he sounds like he's forcing it to sound whiny or sad or remorseful or energetic, whereas before when the vocals were spoken or sung (lgm - lag) it sounded a bit more sincere like he didn't have to prove anything, it was just the way it was, now he sounds like he's gotta emphasize the point by putting on this voice and (i think) it sounds insensire. I know voices change over the year and we all get on, but, i dunno, it just sounds a bit flakey to me. Having said that there are some cracking songs on a and e.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by gersey » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:09 pm

agree 100% about the sitting on fire vocal. the live version is miles better than the album one

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by jesus son » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:52 pm

Songs in A&E could maybe be improved if put through a Boss PN2 Tremelo Pan...

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by spzretent » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:05 pm

runcible wrote:
I met spzretent through the mail order set up I used to co-run - spzretent ran a store with a huge Spacemen 3/Spiritualized fanbase and traded thousands of dollars worth of rarities with me for many years. You'd probably have wet yourself if you'd have gone into his shop as it was packed with all the music we're discussing here.
Cat out of proverbial bag then eh?

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by BzaInSpace » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:40 am

Great thread! Good to see 26$, and the return of the multiple page posts...been a while has it not?

Been away for a week so a lot to read up on here.

But i'd like to just say that I would agree that A&E is a great, great album, and yep, the best Spiritualized album so far. Probably...

I'd be well surprised if anything else this year can beat it, just in terms of sheer beauty, amazing songs, and being a total trip from start to finish.

Put it this way, the best bits on it are as good as Let It Come Down. Which to me, is probably, historically, the greatest. Ladies & Gentlemen...its tricky as that one is sort of like a total one-off, and I think of it more as a whole piece than a collection of songs. (Although I never play 'Broken Heart', and play 'Come Together' all the time....)

Anyway, like all Spiritualized albums for me there are songs that really stand out and A&E is totally no exception. In fact, the high points on this record are as good as anything released by Spiritualized before - no question here at all.

The highlights are numerous indeed - as much discussed here 'Sweet Talk' with its beautiful bass and beautiful, beautiful choir singing is an LP opener for the ages. The slow but powerful build up. The bells and chimes...wow.

(on that note anyone whose heard any of the recent 2008 gigs/boots or radio sessions will have hopefully like me been astounded just how good this band is now sounding - the backing vocalists more than make up for no JC, TPS or horns. I think they now sound as good as they ever did - the twin guitar is more interesting maybe the Amazing Grace heavy jazz thing. Maybe!)

'Soul on Fire' is simply wonderful. A full-on, glorious love song that only seems to get better every time I hear it. Which can be applied to the album as a whole I believe.

I'm also going to say that 'Yeah Yeah' is fucking AWESOME and right now, the greatest rocker they've ever done bar none! I'd love to hear a whole album like that. (Spiritualized Vs. The Dirtbombs?) Please!
For what sounds like a very straightforward tune there is loads going on in there - how many dirty, fuzzed out guitars? Mike Collins bass? The fact it fades in and out, really want to hear the full-length jam. The eagle-eared may have noticed just how loud it eventually gets - I mean scarily, intensely loud before fading out. Amazing. It's just nowhere long enough... :D

'You Lie You Cheat', i'm glad someone else here has noticed the Oasis influence! It starts off really good and then...I duuno, i'm with Ro on this one. The 'This Little Life' vocal thing doesn't really do it for me here. Its good...but I just go back to 'Yeah yeah'. Yeah!

(when i first heard 'Gotta Fire' I thought it sounded like Damon Albarn. It's the Spiritualized Britpop tribute! Only kidding--)

Onwards and upwards...

Possible musical highlight of the album/century, 'Baby I'm Just A Fool' is just incredible. I'd been really psyched by the acoustic versions floating around, so when i finally heard it at Edinburgh it was a definite high point to an amazing night. And i'm so glad the full version is just so fucking brilliant. The first time I listened to this I nearly cried it was so good! Nearly. :D

It was everyting, and more, I could have hoped it to be. A rarity nowadays maybe.

And like mentioned earlier again about 'Sweet Talk' by someone here...again, only two chords! Incredible.

So many amazing touches - the gradual layering of instruments and percussion, the handclaps, the four note guitar bit that changes ever so slightly on the line "There ain't nothing you can give me...", the warm 'Cool Waves'/Nitzsche string and horn parts...fantastic. A beautiful triumphant yet ragged vocal. And then there's the full on freak-out at the end! Perfect. Seven minutes has never gone so fast. Really, really want to hear that live. Really, really want to hear this song again.

Time is short, so quickly must mention how good 'Waves Crash In' and 'Borrowed Your Gun' are. Perfect, among the best Spaceman ballads ever. 'Waves' sounds a bit like Beach Boys, but check those amazing changes going on. 'Borrowed Your Gun' is just beautiful. Big Spector-esque choir - that violin! Thats should be at the conclusion to the most emotionally devestating yet uplifting film ever made.

The Harmony parts are an amazing touch. There's so much other good stuff on there....

I've listened to it in all sorts of times, moods and environments and it has yet to let me down. A good up album and equally a good come-down one too.

Why is this not selling more than, I dunno, whatever radio-oriented-bullshit version of 'rock' is clogging the mainstream? (an old, rhetorical question). Who couldn't dig this album? The dead maybe. Or the fuckin' Kaiser Chiefs, the bastards that they are.

A classic? Undoubtedly.

Better than Lazer Guided Melodies ...or even (gulp) Pure Phase, including the mighty 'Medication'?


Yep!

Love as always... :D ...sorry about the sweary-words. Humbled and thankful.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by bunnyben » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:16 pm

ro wrote:A&E It's a very theatrical production. I can almost picture the Broadway musical, children's chorus and all. Children singing backup vocals was voted "worst musical mechanism" or some such thing in a survey I heard about, voted as one of the top 5 things people do not want to hear in a song. So I always think of that and laugh when I hear them here.. but knowing at least in parts, it's the Spacekids themselves
those people have obviously never seen lou reed performing berlin. a child choir singing on songs about suicide and infidelity, to name two topics, now that is what music is about. what a show! what a show! i still have tears in my eyes

and i said oh oh oh what a feeling...
Last edited by bunnyben on Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by bunnyben » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:19 pm

most listened to

ladies and gents
amazing grace
songs in a&e
let it come down
pure phase
lazor guided
Last edited by bunnyben on Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
'raging and weeping are left on the early road
now each in his holy hill
the glittering and hurting days are alomst done
then let us compare mythologies
i have learned my elaborate lie
of soaring crosses and poisened thorns'

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by spzretent » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:49 pm

BZA:
You have the day off? That was a long post!
Glad to see you name check LICD. Which I took in the car a while back and realized what a great record it is.
Its nice to have this debate over which Spz records we rate because they are all great records. Just in different order with some of us.
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jack white
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by jack white » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:02 pm

has anyone heard from duppyconquerer lately? is he nightwash now? would like to see what he has to say about the album. i like to imagine he loves it as much as those who do. and thats a lot - cause of this thread it's clawed it's way back into my the central part of my being again. so thanks for that.

as for LICD and this new live band. i went and revisited that record and albert hall to compare them to this new era and was pretty taken aback by how little fun i had with either of the older records. a lot of it has to do with the simple and accessible set-up live and the fact i believe in what was quoted by $26 about the orcestra being much more naturally inegrated into the songs this time round.
as a relative n00b to spz this is fast becoming my favourite line-up and era, if you'll excuse the term. well, the live cuts on the electricity EP (or whatever one was recorded on tour with neil and crazy horse) still stands tall.
gonna burn brightly
for a while

BzaInSpace
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by BzaInSpace » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:49 pm

spzretent wrote:BZA:
You have the day off? That was a long post!
It's really obvious isn't it! :)
O P 8

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by dselevan2 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:04 am

spzretent wrote:BZA:
You have the day off? That was a long post!
Glad to see you name check LICD. Which I took in the car a while back and realized what a great record it is.
Its nice to have this debate over which Spz records we rate because they are all great records. Just in different order with some of us.
Agreed!

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Stuart X.Hunter » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:11 pm

In no response to anything or anyone but moreso that i'm bongo'd on fine concha y toro and listening too booka shade...thought I'd have a wee stab at the "why?"...peace bruvva's and sista's.

Harmony 1 – Anyone singing the line “…and I will love you till I die and I will love you all the time…” along to this? It’s nice to think of it as a reprise. Maybe/maybe not.
Sweet Talk – What’s the significance of the single bell chime at the start of the track? This song is autobiographical as well as “of the times” as I understand it. I’ve got to admit I’m now starting to buy into this clever “universal themes” JP has spoken of in interviews. Perhaps it’s JP that has been sweet talkin’ and now’s the time for honesty but then it may just be some modern figure-head. Who knows.
Death Take Your Fiddle – This sounds like somebody speaking from between life and death. At least with death looming you know where you are. The word “death” doesn’t have to refer to “the end” but perhaps a passing of one thing to another. I like the slow-train guitar notes, the angelic “ohh-ahh-ahhs” and that sinister relentless loop of atmosphere.
Gotta Fire – What about that first spine-bending guitar note after “…gotta fire inside my soul…”! Wow! Then the line “…got a letter from my home/didn’t know that mine was born…”. I’m hoping this lends itself to an even bigger horn section maybe leading in at 1m30s instead of 15secs later.
Soul On Fire – reminds me in it’s effect of “Stop Your Cryin’” with the first “Baby…” all nice and hushed then bam! That line “…freedom is just another word when you’ve no one left to hurt…” still floors me. Y’know as people we have this enormous strive to be absolutely content and happy in every aspect of our lives but truthfully we’re not built for that…as when it happens/arrives we tend to destroy it. This song makes it all sound possible and plausible…for 4mins.

Ok, I see that as the first part of the album. What a journey in 4 songs! There is not a better opening on any Spiritualized album than on A&E. Even better (for me) than LAGWAFIS that has a blindin’ lead in.

Harmony 2 – I’ve heard this somewhere before…I’ve maybe even played it myself…slumped over a piano…letting the sparse keys tell a thousand stories…
Sittin’ On Fire – I think this is the most fragile I’ve heard JP vocals. Strained, searching, aching…hoping. I get the impression that he sais what he can bring himself to say and the lullaby, swaying, soothing instrumental encourages him to say more.
Yeah Yeah – Great little rhythm & blues rocker that fades in and out almost like it’s being recalled from memory…like it’s something from another time. If JP wasn’t so self assured and inwardly confident you could imagine him posturing with lips, hips n shoulder-blades to this…
You Lie You Cheat – The drums…the fucking drums!!! This album is limited in up-front beltin’ rhythm but no wonder as this tune does it all. For me it levitates above the ground…circling…stabbing out at whatever…a real flying chariot.
Harmony 3 – Cleansing.

Ok, I see this as the second part of the album…love the way the fade in/outs work…like little snippets into rooms down a corridor. For me there will never be a stronger mid-section than PP but this plus the third part (as I see it) would be a crackin’ duel.

Baby I’m Just A Fool – Ladies…pay attention…you want an insight into men? Pencil and paper at the ready! I’m sure I read somebody say you can play the WWJ along to this…whatever! Are you hearing the Pure Phase scale being worked through in the background? This song is colossal…the drums and horn section…maaaaannn, it floats my boat! If anyone really likes that section; pm me and I’ll hit you up with Prima Materia by Alex Smoke.
Don’t Hold Me Close – Anyone else melt at this song? This is something. I adore the way the vocals have been laid…like two people sitting across from each other with a wall between them…each unknowingly echoing the others fears and hopes. The double ending is great. Matrimonial (right word?). It’s something you may hear upon leaving a wedding. “…Don’t touch me there your fires too bright and I don’t care to travel light…”. Hopes and Fears.
Harmony 4 – It’s Harmony 2 but aged, right? Like an old ship-wreck may sing.
The Waves Crash In – I get the image of two people heading in different directions with this song. I really want to hear the words “…I know I’ll see you again…” somewhere in this song but I guess that has already been conveyed. We all fall asleep under the same stars so we’re never that far parted.
Harmony 5 – In an English country ga-ah-rden! Bringing it all back home.

End of part 3 as I see it.

Borrowed Your Gun – From the opening line of this song, I’m floored. I get the feeling the narrator is only coming home one way. When it kicks in for the chorus proper; “…Hold out your hands I’m coming hone…” I see pallbearers accepting there role. I think there’s a real struggle for a triumph here.
Harmony 6 – Ripples in the water or dust on the wind.
Goodnight Goodnight – A lullaby as much about hope as it is about making another feel safe. Like the willing on the accented “be” in “…you’ll be all right…”. Dignified until the end.

End of album.

Fuckin' astoundin album... :mrgreen:

I lOvE tEcHnO...tHe UnIvErSaL laNgUaGe
Aim to do at least two positive things each day

mc
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by mc » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:43 pm

eleKtroniK:musiK wrote: Don’t Hold Me Close – Anyone else melt at this song? This is something. I adore the way the vocals have been laid…like two people sitting across from each other with a wall between them…each unknowingly echoing the others fears and hopes. The double ending is great. Matrimonial (right word?). It’s something you may hear upon leaving a wedding. “…Don’t touch me there your fires too bright and I don’t care to travel light…”. Hopes and Fears.
Yep, I have to say I melt at this song. Jason's singing is at his most fragile and affecting, and Rachel's voice is just beautiful, so sweet and hopeful. A stunning duet, and most certainly the highlight of the album for me. A&E has been a real slow-burner, something I've never felt with a Spz album before. I was utterly non-plussed with it at first listen (back when it leaked), and apart from eleKtroniK:musiK's "part 3," I didn't think there was much there worth a repeat listen. I thought all my worst fears had been realised, but I perservered, and I've come to realise how strong A&E is. It'll never work its way into my holy trinity of LG, PP and LAGWAFIS, but it's a magnificent album nevertheless.

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by twentysixdollars » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:59 pm

In other words, this is the greatest Spiritualized album ever!

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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by noOne » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:24 pm

mc wrote:
eleKtroniK:musiK wrote: Don’t Hold Me Close – most certainly the highlight of the album for me.
definitely my favorite song on the album.
Lord Please Fuck My Mind For Good

Stuart X.Hunter
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Re: Songs in A&E - the greatest Spiritualized album ever

Post by Stuart X.Hunter » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:58 pm

twentysixdollars wrote:In other words, this is the greatest Spiritualized album ever!
Yes! That's what I was gettin at...however i'm sure i could be convinced that anything was the best ever right now.

No, seriously...what else is there to say than this one blows all others to fcuk! Anyone say different...well put your bodies on the line...phone that number Orbie left in that thread and ask for Rab the Crab.

Don't you think though $26...it's the shortest feeling album...but it's jam-packed...unravel it a little...scratch the surface...not you; as you've itched but those not sure...i get frightened to put the fcuker on as i find some new idea/question. I've played it about 4 times in full since purchasing. I've heard slow-burner...i feel grower...keeper...fcukin lifeline...rubber ring.

I love the way everyone is going..."this is my favourite song"...an album full of songs...at last!!! know what I mean. And you know what...great stuff JP by the way...but I reckon he could crap that stuff with his morning paper...hasn't he grown...he aint part of a band per se...he's a composer now...aint the composition something with all the other talents that go with it.

Blindin'.
Aim to do at least two positive things each day

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