Spiritualized
Everything Was Beautiful


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
April 23rd, 2022 | 35 replies


Release Date: 04/22/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ladies and Gentlemen, Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

In 2018, Jason Pierce hinted And Nothing Hurt might be Spiritualized’s final studio album. It wasn’t and that’s a good thing. The respective release was tight and shared a number of brilliant moments, however, looking back, it feels too sedated for the front man to go out on a high note. Also, to complete the Kurt Vonnegut quote, the group returned with Everything Was Beautiful, a far more fitting way to call it a day if the subject is still in talks. The gist of the record stems from the same recording sessions as its predecessor, yet often these tracks sound celebratory rather than defeated. As per usual, the man took cues from all over his discography to craft the songs. The results are familiar, but effective anyway. Just like the registered trademark sign used next to the band’s name, at this point, Pierce can receive a genre tag of his own.

If you listened to the act before, you could easily guess what you would be about to hear. Every sonic layer here oozes that Spiritualized sound, ranging from the soft blend of gospel, blues and acoustic melodies to the noisy, jazz-infused garage rock. Although the latter part has been toned down lately, we can enjoy several powerful segments on Everything Was Beautiful. “Best Thing You Never Had” is one of the highlights, relying on a kraut rock echoing motorik beat, whereas the guitars drift in the background. The accompanying gospel vocals, as well as the saxophone leads add considerably to the sonic abundance. Same goes for “The Mainline Song”, which is based on similar patterns, plus an uplifting bass rhythm. It keeps growing with the help of rather jolly hums, harmonica lines and playful brass leads. Right after, “The A Song” kicks in with a pounding groove, pushed by piano chords and expanding horn sections. The tune gets slowly buried by just the right amount of a psychedelic freak out, something the group excels at. After a brief return to the main hook, the wall of noise increases once more towards the end, bursting in all directions. Then we get to the final cut, “I’m Coming Home Again”, a 10-minute epic that just continues the winning streak. Everyone plays as if on the verge of snapping, the bass leading the lush orchestral layer, complete with lovely background vocals, Mellotron and flute solos. Although nowhere as noisy as “The A Song”, a smooth, hypnotic effect sets in, especially during the latter half.

Overall, the journey Everything Was Beautiful creates is definitely more entrancing and vivid than And Nothing Hurt. I’m glad Jason decided to keep things at a manageable length of 43 minutes, because it allows you to experience all Spiritualized’s strengths without exhausting you. Despite this, the album still presents itself as a rich sonic puzzle with dozens of unfolding parts. This would be a suitable endpoint for the band, if it was the case. I hope Pierce keeps recreating his version of the blues for a little longer though.



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user ratings (45)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2022


5689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than And Nothing Hurt for me, this is actually easy to sit through and flows really smooth.



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kubP4vi1MmoVWmEgEaFT4iqIf8fiinRk4

Digging: Pure Reason Revolution - Above Cirrus

DoofDoof
April 23rd 2022


11662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didn't like his last one that much but this was alright

Digging: Mighty Sparrow - Hot and Sweet

alexslavco
April 23rd 2022


110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Closer is epic

someone
April 23rd 2022


4479 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

it's all still good

but it's all still the same



how do they make the same album a hundred times over?

parksungjoon
April 23rd 2022


43132 Comments


a lot of bands do something like that

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2022


5689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah they basically play the same stuff, but it still works. Some bands just do this for a lifetime and it's alright. At this point, I don't even imagine Pierce playing something different lol.

zakalwe
April 23rd 2022


35788 Comments


Bearing in mind Ladies and Gents is my fave album of all time, everything since has been alright, good, enjoyable, forgettable.

Sowing
Moderator
April 23rd 2022


40985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was my first exposure to Spiritualized and I really liked it. Very uplifting and blissful, but without feeling watered down. The A Song (Laid In Your Arms) is my favorite here, but the closer is also quite epic. Every song here was good though and the album flowed exceptionally well.



Great review, too.

Digging: Zach Bryan - American Heartbreak

theBoneyKing
April 23rd 2022


22221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good lord Sowing this probably goes without saying but Ladies Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is an absolutely essential listen.

Digging: Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter

tectactoe
April 23rd 2022


5606 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A very nice return to form

Digging: Coconuts - 2

Sowing
Moderator
April 23rd 2022


40985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Boney - Never even heard of it until today lol. But based on the quality of this, I believe you!

DoofDoof
April 23rd 2022


11662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only outright duffer for me here on first listen was ‘Crazy’

bigguytoo9
April 23rd 2022


1244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Saw him 2 weeks ago and it was SUPERB.

Digging: Mizmor and Thou - Myopia

Dylan620
April 24th 2022


5771 Comments


Sowing would 5 the ever-loving fuck out of Ladies and Gents

Digging: Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2022


5689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Sowing. Happy to hear you dig them, Ladies and Gentlemen is their best recording, but I would also recommend Let It Come Down for a more orchestral variant of their stuff and Sweet Heart Sweet Light, which is more or less similar to what you heard on this album.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2022


23156 Comments


Should probably give Ladies and Gentleman a chance

fogza
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2022


5596 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I started listening to this but I just got bored, I agree with someone like this band you only need one record from them and for me it's let it come down

Digging: The Ninth Wave - Heavy Like a Headache

theBoneyKing
April 24th 2022


22221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This was definitely really enjoyable on first spin, but even as someone who’s only heard a handful of their albums it’s hard not to feel like this is a bit too familiar. The closer left the biggest impact on me. I guess it’s nice that this is on the relatively shorter side too. I guess I could see myself going for this to satisfy my fix when I don’t feel like going for the full hour plus of Ladies and Gents/Lazer Guided Melodies.

Tunaboy45
April 24th 2022


18062 Comments


Excellent album, not sure which version of Always Together I prefer

Pikazilla
April 25th 2022


22991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nothing new from the band but good so ig it doesn't matter



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