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Spiritualized - Amazing Grace

  by Mark Rowland

published: 6 / 12 / 2003

Spiritualized - Amazing Grace
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Much-hyped latest offering from Spiritualized, which unfortunately, however, does not live to its claim of being a return to frontman Jason Pierce's Spacemen 3's roots

Bands occasionally make records that are so achingly perfect that they can never do anything or go anywhere without getting out of its shadow. Spiritualized are one of those bands. Since making ''Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space' in 1997, Spiritualized were a transformed from an accomplished space rock band into a sweeping, soulful and genuinely unique band, mixing soul, gospel, garage rock and psychedelia in exactly the right way. Since then however, their recorded efforts have been very good, but basically lesser versions of 'Ladies and Gentlemen...' Their new album, 'Amazing Grace', however, has been sold as a return to front-man Jason Pierce's roots in the raw psychedelic garage band Spacemen 3, which was exciting news for big fans of the band like myself, who were expecting a much rougher, punkier effort that would re-invent Spiritualized yet again. Unfortunately, that isn't quite what you get from 'Amazing Grace'. Yes, it does rock harder than the last couple of albums, which is great when it works, but most of the rockier songs on the album are quite same-y, and with the exception of 'Cheapster' and first single 'She Kissed me (it felt like a hit)' they aren't really up to Spiritualized's usually high standards. The best moments on the album come from the slower, more soulful tracks, which in their rawest forms are given a strong blues-y, emotional quality. This is especially true of 'The Ballad of Richie Lee', about the loss of a close friend of Pierce's. For dedicated fans of the band, this is definitely worth getting for the album's more soulful gems. For more casual listeners, however, you're better off sticking with 'Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space'.

Track Listing:-
1 This Little Life Of Mine
2 She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)
3 Hold On
4 Oh Baby
5 Never Goin' Back
6 The Power And The Glory
7 Lord Let It Rain On Me
8 The Ballad Of Richie Lee
9 Cheapster
10 Rated X
11 Lay It Down Slow

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Interview with Jason Pierce (2004)
Spiritualized - Interview with Jason Pierce
Backstage at a gig in Exeter, Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce talks to Ben Howarth about the band's latest album 'Amazing Grace' and the group's current hard touring schedule

live reviews

Royal Festival Hall, London, 1/8/2004
Spiritualized - Royal Festival Hall, London, 1/8/2004
In the luxurious surroundings of London's Royal Festival Hall, Dominic Simpson watches Spiritualized play a frequently spellbinding set, but is left wondering, after 20 years of perfecting his vision, where frontman Jason Pierce might go next
Lemon Grove, Exeter University, Exeter, 3/2/2004

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Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space (2002)
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In the latest in our series, in which a different one of our writers writes about a favourite album of his or her choice,Cila Warncke examines Spiritualized's 1997 masterpiece 'Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space'



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