Album: Lazer Guided Melodies
. . .
In the beginning, there was Spaceman 3, who sounded exactly like their name, and whom I could never get into, though I’ve tried more than once over the decades. So let’s pin the blame for that squarely on me, and instead focus on Spiritualized, the band that J Spaceman — AKA Jason Pierce — formed in the aftermath of that band’s dissolution.
The first Spiritualized studio album — the perfectly-named Lazer Guided Melodies — came out in 1992. The most recent one — the also perfectly-named Everything Was Beautiful — came out just a couple of months ago. Over that three-decade period, Pierce has occasionally resurfaced to put out another studio collection, issuing a grand total of nine.
Normally, artists who take their damn time between records get dinged in this column, but Pierce gets a pass because those nine albums contain some of the most gorgeously noisy, spiritually conflicted and utterly transcendent music that anybody has ever released. And oh yeah, Spiritualized also made the greatest live album of the past 30 years as well. And in all that time, Pierce has never repeated himself even once. Nope, he’s repeated himself eight times. And he can do it until the end of time, as far as I’m concerned.
If you listen to “I Want You,” the third track from Lazer Guided Melodies, you can get pretty good idea about what early Spiritualized is all about: fuzzy guitars, slowly building rhythms, hide-and-seek synths, and Pierce’s laconic vocals buried until a ton of other vocals.
I’m gonna climb to the highest hill
Gonna take control, I’m gonna free my will
I’m gonna swallow it whole like some giant new pill
Cause I believe it every day
And I believe it won’t go away
And I believe it every day
I want you
And so, “I Want You” stops and starts, ebbs and flows, builds and tears down and ends with an insanely huge wall of shimmering sound that nearly drowns the now-galloping drums until it finally collapses.
“I Want You”
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