Audible Musings


Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
April 4, 2009, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I realize this album is old (okay, very old). It was released in 1997. However, it seems that many people at this school (or in general I guess) who idealize bands such as Radiohead or The Verve or some early Coldplay seem to skip over this band for one reason or another. I first heard about them about two or three months ago, and gave them a listen. I liked it, but not enough to do anything serious with, and as such they kind of fell into the realm of music I had, but never listened to. Like all good albums, though, this one had a way of creeping back into my life. The other day, I made an itunes genious playlist for a Sigur Ros tune, and there, fourth on my list, was Spiritualized. I fell in love with the song (Broken Heart), and decided to give the album a listen.

My first introduction to Radiohead was OK Computer, arguably their best work. This album, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, beat OK Computer for NME best album of the year in 1997. It came out at the height of the “Brit-Pop” period that gave us Radiohead, The Verve, and Coldplay in the first place. Perhaps the main reason this album is skipped over is that it requires a devotion from the listener to do just that, actively listen. There will be parts that seem, not boring, but dull. We are used to, as listeners, constant excitement, but Spiritualized want us to sit through a work that will reach someplace deeper than something so superficial. As an album, Spiritualized are able to soar to gospel-driven highs (Cool Waves), and meliflously weave through moving orchestral compositions (Broken Heart).

The band is clearly influenced by the blues and gospel, and utilize some of the techniques employed by past producers of that era, such as Phil Specter’s “Wall Of Sound”. In the end, however, the band manages to take the best of the “brit-pop” era and channell it into something beautiful from start to finish. There are signs of the era that it is in, such as the song Electricity, which showcases the distinct sound coming out of the UK in the mid-late ninetys. But it is just a glimpse, as the band clearly matures beyond that. The album concludes with a climactic seventeen minute song, Cop Shoot Cop… that includes, as earlier on the album, saxophones, trumpets, and other classical insturments. Go for it! See why this album beat OK Computer. Personally, I am biased towards Radiohead, but I’d definitely say it’s on par with OK Computer, which for me, means its fucking good.

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