Friday, 25 March 2011

21st March 2011 7:2:12

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Today's Choose My Music has again been picked by Dom Walsh. The random combination of numbers he chose was 7:2:12 which meant today I have been listening to......

Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

Spiritualized were formed way back in 1990 following the eventual demise of Spaceman 3, a band fronted by Jason Pierce. This album, the band's third, was a critical smash when it was released in June 1997 -it went on to beat Ok Computer by Radiohead and Urban Hymns by The Verve as NME's album of the year.

I distinctly remember being introduced to this album by my good friend Jim (Jamie) Baker, who caused many a musical awakenings during my teenage years. We were in our first band together at school - a rather marvellous outfit which was originally going to be called Kreeping Jesus but eventually took on the name Delirious. We recorded one song called Maniac Dog, the recording session took place in the front window of a guitar shop*. Anyway...I digress....

On my first listen, in Jim's bedroom, I wasn't very taken with it and it was at least another 5 years until I actually purchased a copy for myself and I must admit, it has been a similarly long time since I last gave it a listen.

This album really does sum up everything I love and hate about music. I found myself conflicted throughout the whole listening experience. Part of me was desperate for it to continue, while at times I also found myself hoping that the album was about to end. I shall explain.

The beauty of this album, and what Spiritualized really do best is what some musicians might call 'building'. Listening to tracks like "All of my Thoughts" "Stay With Me" and the album opener start off quiet and rather minimal, slowly building to something much bigger than what was initially presented at the start. This kind of thing gets me every time. You know that point where you suddenly hear an instrument in the mix

But, and it is a big but, I cannot stand long, overblown songs that appear to have no end. Sadly there are a few of these on here too.

It is these exact reasons why I have never been able to get on with Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. This album is full of tracks which to me are just way too long - and that makes my skipping finger twitch. At one point I actually found myself trying to communicate with the CD player by telling it to shut up.

I suppose this album needs to be listened to when you are in the right mood, at the right time in the right conditions. I know that if I was sitting at home on a dark night with my headphones on I would have loved this much more. Unfortunately I was sitting in my car on a Monday morning on the Derby Ring Road, making my way into work.

In the right conditions this would be a 4 star album. Today it was a 3 1/2.

* I eventually got sacked by Delerious for reasons long forgotten. Jim, to my absolute pleasure and joy still continues to record music with his band The Officers

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