Album Review: Sweet Heart Sweet Light Spritualized

10 April 2012 | 9:25 am | Adam Wilding

Drum Album Of The Week: Another triumphant offering from a mad genius.

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It has been almost four years since Jason Pierce, the smarts behind space-rock band Spritualized, released a record. Sweet Heart Sweet Light is the result and was worth the wait, a complete revelation for a guy that has lived a well-documented rock-star lifestyle that included cheating death back in 2005 when he was hospitalised following a bout of severe pneumonia. He seems to have come out of it all feeling OK and the seventh studio album is evidence of this. Where the emancipation of Songs In A & E hinted at a reborn person, Sweet Heart… propels Pierce's vision forth, opening with his indulgence for movie scores, eventually evolving into a rock album. Combining the feedback pedal (hey, how about a symphony orchestra?), the odd gospel elements (hey! Is there room for horns?) it's all here in the lush DIY style, a style that he invented, which melds British rock with an obvious affection for Southern States music.

The epic Too Late picks up where 2008's Soul On Fire left off and features at a halfway point that traverses music in all its shapes and forms, from straight rock'n'roll, to mesmerising musical scores and back to a man, a guitar and a piano. His distinct vocal has never been a polished thing and it's what makes his songs, these songs, such a joy to listen too. Yes, there are the more experimental moments where a track will sound like a five-minute intro, but it's intended perhaps to enhance listening to the album as a whole or making the more creative songs more prolific.

Another triumphant offering from a mad genius.


Length: 11 tracks, 60 minutes
Moods: Lush, symphonic, vibrant


The three years since the release of 2008's acclaimed Songs In A&E, were some of the roughest imaginable for Jason Pierce aka J. Spaceman.

“When you make a record, it has to be the single most important thing in your world. This time around, I wanted to do something that encompassed all I love in rock'n'roll music. It's got everything from Brotzmann and Berry right through to Dennis and Brian Wilson. I'm obsessed with music and the way you put it together and I don't believe there are any rules,” Says J. Spaceman about his new record.

Shortly after recording Sweet Heart Sweet Light, J. Spaceman was subjected to six months of medical treatment, a procedure that left him virtually housebound while he mixed the album.

In a first for Spiritualized, J. Spaceman is joined on vocals by his 11 year old daughter Poppy Spaceman, on So Long You Pretty Thing, who also wrote the opening verse.

J. Spaceman has for more than 20 years been the singer, songwriter and philosophical pulse of Spiritualized. Over the course of six albums, Spaceman has pondered questions of life, love, mortality, beauty and his own drug use and abuse.