ALBUM REVIEW: Spiritualized, Everything Was Beautiful
I’m going to coin a new term called “Pitchfork prestige” right now. These are groups with albums that Pitchfork has given a 9, 10 or an unusually high spot on one of their year-end lists. Bands that fall in this category are Animal Collective, Yo La Tengo and Dismemberment Plan. Over time, future efforts from these groups begin to gradually decline until they are stuck in the 6.6’s for the rest of eternity. Kanye is down deep in those trenches right now, as a matter of fact. I’m going off track a little bit, my grand point is that Spiritualized is one of those bands, although they've never gotten to that 6 level. Their 1997 record Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space was endlessly praised at the time and in retrospect by Pitchfork and other media outlets. As a former Pitchfork stan child, I attempted over and over again to listen with diminishing returns. I attributed this to me just not understanding it, maybe when I got older I would be able to process the greatness.
Well, I just gave it another listen, and it’s still not at all my thing. Oh, and I gave their comeback album Everything Was Beautiful a listen as well. Not only do I not like it, but I think I can concretely say that Spiritualized is one of the most overrated bands of all time. All of their songs sound exactly the fucking same. It’s just this overblown Britpop style with tried-and-true guitar parts, basslines and horns that doesn’t thrill me whatsoever. Lead singer Jason Pierce stays in the same vocal register singing about the same three topics for the entirety of the record, and nothing really ever changes. Once in a while there is a wild solo or a spacey ambient spot, but other than that we are getting more of the same with little variation. Just because the songs are 9 minutes long doesn't mean that this is an “opus”. This is just an elongated rock record that doesn’t deserve your attention. I wanted so much to enjoy this, but alas, I got nothing.