Friday, June 22, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 271 - Spiritualized - Let It Come Down

Album – Let It Come Down
Artist - Spiritualized
Key Players - Jason Pierce (aka Spaceman) – electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, farfisa, piano, harmonica, vocals. Thighpaulsandra – Hammond Organ, Keyboards, piano. Doggen Foster – guitars. John Coxon – guitars, piano. Martin Schellard – bass, banjo, piano. Tom Edwards – vibraphone, marimba, timpani, tubular bells, percussion. Kevin Bales – drums. Raymond Dickaty – saxophones.

Produced By – J Spaceman and K.Coxon

Release Date – September 17, 2001

What caused me to blow off the dust? - A good friend of mine has been talking about their new cd (which I need to get) and it got me to thinking it had been some time since I listened to them.

Overview – This is the fourth album from the UK Band “Spiritualized” the band broke the mold on this release. The band used to the long drone guitars, known by many as “shoe-gaze” on prior releases. Using over 100 session musicians, including orchestras and choirs and taking over four years to complete it. Jason Pierce, the band leader would sing the orchestral parts in to a microphone, transcribe to piano and then get to the players. The result blends, and seemingly created new genres such as “space rock” and “symphonic rock”. This would be the bands highest charting album in the UK (#3).

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - “On Fire” opens with a piano section before the full band comes in. There is a wall of guitar and an awful lot going on. The vocals are high in the mix as expected, but there is so much to listen to. The drums, the trumpet, it really grabs the listener at the start. After a run of the verse a female backing section augments with the guitars. “Do It All Over Again” also begins with the chiming guitar and piano. The timpani drums roll in and the vocals start. This track feels even more expansive with guitar chords layers on long sustained trumpet notes. There is a short and distorted guitar solo on the back side of the orchestral section before the guitar returns to normal. The vocal layers on the back side of the track are a solid end cap. The soothing strings intro “Don't Just Do Something” before Spaceman sings in a hushed and slightly altered vocal. The vocals clean up and the song is a soothing light track. A few guitar sections come up at the second verse, but the song keeps an even keel. The layers grow and grow to a really outstanding track. Two electric guitars bring in “Out of Sight”. After a verse the listener is given a blast of the full brass section. The guitars work to cut through that, but it is so full it only seems to let up as the strings come in and the second verse starts. The good part is we get that brass section all over again, with more of a guitar section involved. Its big, heavy and loud. The harmonica section runs in two sections as well. This, dear readers, is symphonic pop! “The Twelve Steps” is more a straight up rock and roll song. The guitars are driving from the very start and this continues for the first minute before the band cools back some,but a police siren seems to call in the string section and the band has fun working in and out of that portion of the song. It is a rowdy and welcome change of pace. “The Straight and Narrow” is a cleaner and quieter track than the previous. The vocals are clean over the ringing guitar line. The horns are bright and the track swells at all the right times. More piano lead the next track is “I Didn't Mean to Hurt You”. Spaceman sings along with the piano before the strings come in and the slow rolling percussion. The texture of the horns with the slow keyboards. The song doesn't have lot of speed to it, but it is a full sounding track as always. “Stop Your Crying” has hushed vocals with piano and organ accompaniment. The long slow cymbal rolls with the mallets pull in the choir and big timpani drums. This is a real big sounding track that must have taken ages to put to tape, it sounds great. Distant sounding strings swell as “Anything More” starts. The track is quiet with Spaceman delivering in a relaxed tone. The horns offer the long sustained notes under the guitar chords and slow drum tempo. The track is in no hurry allowing for the strings to really fill out the track. “Won't Get to Heaven (the state I'm in)” starts off very quiet, sounding like a clock winding and chimes it doesn't seem to resemble much for close to a minute in as the lone piano part begins. Then there is a second, a guitar and things slowly add on. String and the choir are the solid portions to this and the horns swell to increase the power of the song. It retreats some, but knows when to come back with big swelling passages. The track has loose jams that really seem to build in to complicated sections filled with keyboard to saxophone solos. The final few minutes are worth the ride. The album concludes with the track “Lord Can you Hear Me”. Opening with sustained organ notes before the vocals began. The song continues the path of being quiet and mellow and is a perfect album closer. Having a rowdy blow up at the halfway point with dueling guitars and swirling horns accented with the organ gives it a church revival send off.

Where are they now? - Jason Pierce is the lone member since the bands inception. Pierce has had some health issues, but has continued to work and the band released “Sweet Heart Sweet Light” in April of 2012.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I have not seen the band live.

FDF Overall Take – This can be a little bit of a challenging listen at times. If you are looking for simple rocking tunes, this is not for you. This is a band/album that is pushing itself in new directions. Does it work? Most of the time it does. A few lengthy sections might seem tedious, but it all comes together so well. A record that might not get put on too often, but the end result is really rewarding.

Official site

On Twitter the band is @spiritualized

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Don't Just Do Something

Out of Sight
Documentary on the making of the album

You can buy the album  here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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