Tanner Babcock

Spiritualized (Spacemen 3)

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Year Title Rating
1986 >>Sound of Confusion .../...
1987 The Perfect Prescription 8/10
1988 >>Revolution .../...
1988 >>Playing with Fire .../...
1990 Dreamweapon 7/10
1990 >>Big City .../...
1990 >>Recurring .../...
1990 Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To 6.5/10
1991 >>Feel So Sad .../...
1992 Lazer Guided Melodies 7/10
1993 >>Fucked Up Inside .../...
1995 Pure Phase 7/10
1997 Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space 8.5/10
1998 Royal Albert Hall, October 10, 1997 Live 7.5/10
2001 >>Let It Come Down .../...
2003 >>Amazing Grace .../...
2008 >>Songs in A&E .../...
2012 Sweet Heart, Sweet Light 6.5/10

Review last updated: August 10, 2018

Spiritualized is something that is holy, enigmatic, religious even, but at the same time depraved, sinful, tempestuous. It is music about self-abuse, neglect, love, and redemption. Psychedelic gospel music that is ridiculously over-saturated and inexplicably high budget. I cannot recommend any of their albums highly enough.

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

This album describes itself a lot better than I, or any other music critic could possibly describe it. You have an honest confessional about J. Spaceman's heroin addiction, paired with themes of love, desire, and God, amongst a backdrop of Red Crayola-esque free-form hyper-saturated rock music. How a humble junkie guitarist and songwriter acquired enough money to integrate a full black church choir, string quartet, horn section, pipe organ, and percussionist into his rock band, and record his album in a cathedral, I will never know, but this mystery has borne a wonderful treasure of recorded music. This is the kind of album that sucks you in and mesmerizes with you with pure sonic symmetry and harmonic meticulousness.

This shoegaze hybrid masterwork has illustrated a number of intriguing parallels between the overpowering, all-encompassing, pure and yet filthy, unadulterated complete physical and mental bliss of heroin; the helpless emotional twists and turns, pain, joy, and euphoria of falling in love; and finally, the timeless mindscape of falling into a thick, atmospheric, psychedelic shoegaze album, letting your mind let go of itself and soaking in every detail of echo, reverb, and distortion, just floating in the space of musical composition. The hairs on your body stand up straight and pure sonic heaven enters and exits every pore in your body. These three separate, individual phenomena are present in many people's lives, some phenomena more than others, but only through Spiritualized do you realize that these three feelings might actually be the same feeling.

The songwriting on this album is not particularly ground-breaking, neither is the composition structure. But the absolute magic of a wholly synchronized massive ensemble of musicians, filling in every millisecond-long gap between the notes with a complete, three-dimensional vibration, is something this album has achieved that not a lot of artists are careful or mindful enough to analyze.