52 Albums: Week 15
Sweet Heart Light Heart is a sweeping album, successfully blending Shoegaze, Britpop, Rock-Gospel, Blues and large scale orchestral arrangements into a grand, cohesive whole. Spiritualized has been around since the early 90’s and while Sweet Heart Light Heart draws on some of the groups earlier sounds, the efforts are focused by singer/guitarist Jason Pierce’s near death experiences and medical treatment while writing and mixing the album.
The album’s highlights are among the best songs I’ve heard all year. Take the track ‘Mary’ for example:
The song starts out in a Slowcore, Dreampop vein reminiscent of Low but, over the course of six minutes, it builds into something entirely epic featuring strings, noisy, angular guitars and horns. This ambition and richness of sound is present throughout Sweet Heart Sweet Light. The album’s best song is “Sweet Jane” and, if you have ten minutes to spare, I highly recommend director AG Rojas’ excellent, long-form video. (Elements of the video are NSFW.)
Good as this album is, ambient, shoe-gazy music sometimes tries my patience and the album sags a little bit from time to time. I give Sweet Heart Sweet Light four stars out of five. It will be interesting to see if it sticks around in my rotation long enough to make my year-end top ten albums or if those duller songs turn me off enough over time to drive me away from the album.