“Sweet Heart Sweet Light” is charged with raw emotion

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“Sweet Heart Sweet Light” is charged with raw emotion

Chandler Gerard-Reimer

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Space rock band Spiritualized released their newest album, "Sweet Heart Sweet Light," April 17. Credit: Double Six Records

Space rock band Spiritualized released their newest album, “Sweet Heart Sweet Light,” April 17. Credit: Double Six Records

 Spiritualized, the break-off band fronted by Jason Pierce after the demise of Spacemen 3, is a band that really lives up to its name. Their music is so emotional, so raw, that listening to it actually feels like a religious experience.

Since Pierce has been the only consistent member of the band, Spiritualized’s discography has been a sort of biography of his life, their latest album, “Sweet Heart Sweet Light,” being no exception. “Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space” (1997), dealing with break-up and addiction, was philosophical and spaced-out. “Songs in A&E” (2008), inspired by a near-death experience, is reminiscent of gospel music and includes ambient hospital sounds.

“Sweet Heart Sweet Light,” released April 17, is finally an album with a positive aura. Pierce survived his illness, and this album seems to share all the lessons he’s learned while recovering.

The record opens with a soft string intro titled “Huh?” which is how Pierce says he felt while on the medication for his disease. The song quickly leads into the epic nine-minute “Hey Jane,” which is tantalizingly jumpy with a head-bobbing beat.

My personal favorite is “Headin’ for the Top Now,” which is the hardest rock song on the album, but that isn’t saying much. All of the tracks are pretty mellow, but on this song the guitar sound is grungier, there are a lot of pedal effects, and Pierce’s voice is harsher.

Freedom,” the next track, is a sweet ballad that keeps with Spiritualized’s autobiographic theme. It certainly begins quite depressingly – “I’m living my life on a prayer now, got no right to be here,” but soon transforms into an uplifting track about ridding yourself of the evil in life.

“Sweet Heart, Sweet Light” has the definitive elements of a Spiritualized album – Pierce’s droned singing, choir back-up vocals, and ingenuity – but the album is uplifting, and this is a definite change. Just as Pierce’s life has taken a positive turn, so will your day after giving these songs a listen.

What do you think?