Spiritualized continue where they left off with their last exquisitely crafted record - And Nothing Hurts, with yet another very impressive offering on their latest album - Everything Was Beautiful. As if carrying out a self fulfilling prophesy, Spiritualized have delivered seven tracks that are indeed incredibly beautiful and extraordinarily compelling. The titles of both the 2018 record, and the latest one, are drawn from a line in Kurt Vonnegut’s 1969 anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse Five - "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt." You'd find it hard to argue with that after listening to J Spaceman's latest release, or indeed any of Spiritualized's previous eight albums.
Everything Was Beautiful opens up with the gloriously uplifting sound of last year's lead single - Always Together With You. The song, released in early November, serves as a fabulous introduction to the new record with it's ever building soundtrack and layered harmonies. The 6m38s of Always Together With You creates a wall of sound that is filled with hook laden melodies and sumptuous instrumentation, all beautifully woven together to create an immersive and engrossing experience.
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Before the BRIT Awards celebrate the last twelve months in music we look forward to the best of the new releases that are due out this February
Unlike the Sue Gray report into alleged law breaking at Number 10, our five favourite forthcoming albums in February all have a confirmed date to be shared. Whilst there are some major releases from Kanye West - Donda 2, Bastille - Give Me The Future and Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point, we've gone for a slightly more select bunch of albums. Sea Power - Everything Was Forever, Frank Turner - FTHC, Cate LeBon - Pompeii and Metronomy's Small World were all close to making the cut but in the end, without any intervention necessary from the Met, we've chosen an eclectic mix of pop-punk, art-rock, leftfield pop, folk and space rock.
Mitski - Laurel Hell
Spiritualized's eighth album comes twenty-six years after their first, twenty-eight years since the group's inception and six years since their last, 'Sweet Heart, Sweet Light', and yet sounds as fresh and vibrant as if it were a debut. All the hallmarks of a great Jason Pierce album are present on his latest release. There are epic soundscapes, big walls of sound, squalls of noise and blankets of layered harmony.
'And Nothing Hurt' is a high point on the Spiritualized timeline, set to challenge the peak set by their 1997 album 'Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space'. Pierce has threaded together a concept album of sorts that takes us on a real journey to a fictional house. "They're all pop songs", "a drive tape", "to a road trip" Pierce has said. "The concept is simple but Rock n' Roll is at its best when it's simple."
The nine songs on the latest Spiritualized album start off with the gentle introduction of 'A Perfect Miracle'. There's an air of The Smiths, 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want', in the jangle of guitars that accompany the laidback, soothing and slightly mournful vocal. The first single lifted off the album, 'I'm Your Man' lifts the mood with its ever-building score and big, breaking soulful choruses.
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The Libertines' first reunion gig in London for four years was a critical success but the crowd were particularly badly behaved. The band's performance was interrupted two songs in by a crowd surge and the concert managers were forced to ask the crowd to stop throwing fireworks at the beginning of the set.
The Libertines' first reunion gig on English soil got off to a rocky start when overzealous fans surged towards the stage whilst the band performed at the British Summer Time gig in Hyde Park, London. This is the first time in four years the group has performed in the capital and their appearance has been praised by critics.
Pete Doherty performing with The Libertines in Glasgow last week.
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Spiritualized, Save, Children's Christmas Tree Sessions and Union Chapel Friday 14th December 2012 Spiritualized performing at the 'Save the Children's Christmas Tree Sessions' at Union Chapel
Listening to a Spiritualized album can be an emotionally exhausting experience. Their seventh album is no different from its predecessors in that respect, however it's also obviously been informed by Jason Pierce's choice in 2009 to revisit landmark album Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space. Underneath the deliberately obscure cover art of Sweet Heart Sweet Light you'll find a collection of songs that embrace religion, death and hedonism. They're lavishly composed with flourishes of orchestral gravitas and gospel choirs, accompanied by a liberal helping of guitar-based feedback.
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Review of Spiritualized's track Sweet Talk/You Lie You Cheat.
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Review of Spiritulized's album Songs in A&E.
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