I first heard of Spiritualized in 2001 when Let It Come Down was released. I kept an ear out for them, and decided to fine out more about them. I trawled through the music magazines I had, and Spiritualized had a reputation. This album, my first Spiritualized one, simply blew me away. It's immense sonic clarity, it's diverse changes and form showed me the effects one man's vision can have on music.
Jason Pierce is a complete genius, although a not entirely happy one at that. This album was recorded at a time of great personal strife for Jason - the band were slowly imploding, and his relationship with Kate Radley, who was the Spiritualized keyboardist, had ended with her marrying Richard Ashcroft. This is regularly seen as one of the great 'break up'albums(the media interpreted the album as a lovelorn, drug addled note to Kate Radley)but Pierce rejects this, believing it to be more than that, and he is right - but it easy to interpret songs like 'Broken Heart' with lyrics of wanting to get wasted in order to get rid of the pain, as a sign of a troubled man. The break up, coupled with a mild heroin addiction, do leave their mark on this album.
Anyway, what matters are the songs, and this albums has them in quality and quantity - the album is nigh on 70 minutes long. The title track is heartmelting in it's multi-layered vocals, but the original version, with lines lifted from an Elvis song, and a a gospel choir is perhaps even more fantastic (Jason had to to rerecord the track due to the Elvis estate). 'Come Together' is a great slice of ragga rock, with its lyrics that combine two of Pierce's staples - god and drugs - he often fails to see the differnce between the two. 'I think i'm in love' is basically two great songs in one. 'All of My Thoughts' and 'Stay With Me' carry on the baton until 'Electricity' storms in. 'Broken Heart' is sandwiched by two free jazz songs, but it provides the calm in the storm. It is a great track, with simply outstanding strings - it make you feel thatlove can be redemptive. 'Cool Waves' is a gospel led treatise on love, and then there is the final track, the absolutely epic 'Cop Shoot Cop...' which is an sixteen minute observation of Pierces mind. The whole album is a vision by Jason Pierce, and the mixing reportedly took almost as long as the recording, but it was worth the hassle. I truly believe this is one of the great albums, but is does require patience - give it time, and you will think it is great.