Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spiritualized - Songs in A&E

Songs in A&E
(05.2008, Fontana)
Verdict = Redemptive theatrical hymnals

By now it is no secret that the long wait for Songs in A&E is due in large part to lead singer and Spiritualized mastermind Jason Pierce’s near brush with death due to a lengthy bout of double pneumonia. Last time I heard the band was on the over the top awesomeness of Let It Come Down. After hearing the news of Pierce’s prior medical condition Songs in A&E seems like the perfect musical reflection of actual events in reference to Let It Come Down. Where Let It Come Down was blisteringly triumphant and gloriously soaring, Songs in A&E is timid as the band is stepping down from the hospital bed for the first time in months to see if they can stand their own body weight. A little more world weary and a bit more experienced Spiritualized has taken a blow but has come out on top. And, as with all things that don’t kill you, the band is stronger for it. On Songs in A&E the band is tighter and more reigned than on Let It Come Down (sorry, pretty much my only previous reference point) however this directness equates to poignancy and when the more embellished, theatrical elements swell the result is all the more redemptive. An incredible album and torrid argument against rock n’ roll as a tool singular to the devil. Songs in A&E is rocking and divine.
-Mr. Thistle

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