Spiritualized- Songs in A&E

Around the time of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating in space’ I think I went to see Spiritualized three times on that albums promotional tour, such was the love I had not only for that record but for them as a live band. Then came a few good albums before Jason went into hospital with double pneumonia and nearly died and if ‘ladies…’ was his drug record then ‘Songs in A&E’ is his ‘blimey I nearly died, I’m glad I didn’t, life isn’t so bad’ record. With twelve stunning tracks separated by six ‘Harmonies’ the whole album floats along at a pace that puts you in a lucid dream state with the Harmonies bridging the gaps between the main compositions. Filled with luscious string arrangements, gospel sounds and Jason’s reflecting lyrics it’s clearly the best and most confident record in a while and apparently most of it was written before his admittance to hospital which eerily gives it a self prophesising element which can’t be ignored. Lead single and stand out track ‘Soul on Fire’ grips from first listen and with the chorus ‘Baby you set my soul on fire, I got two strong arms to hold you tight and I wanna take you higher, baby you never should say never, I got a hurricane inside my veins and wanna stay forever’ its an instant classic. But as well as the huge orchestral pieces the album contains moments of subtle beauty like the sounds of the hospital equipment forming the beats in the background to ‘Death take your Fiddle’ and for anyone that prefers Jason at his woozy blues best there’s ‘Sitting on fire’ and ‘You lie you cheat’. The last time I saw Jason was not that long ago at a church gig with a string quartet, a few backing singers and a stripped down band, it was an amazing performance which I now realise must have contained versions of some of these songs, but now I have had the chance to live with them I cant wait to hear them again in the live arena. So whether it’s divine intervention, musical genius or pure luck that Jason lived to tell his tales I’m glad that he did because he has made another amazing spiritualized record.

 

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