FuckedUpFestiveFifty #51: Spiritualized

#51: Spiritualized – If I Were With Her Now (1992)

#51. The final entry in this series. Low cloud scudding overhead; disparate promises of lost springs, forgotten summers. Because this is what music does. It segues into who you are, sets up camp in the spaces between immediate consciousness and the mechanics of recollection. And whilst it would be glib simplification to suggest that the records we listen to – those that we cherish most closely – make us who we are, neither should such a notion be dismissed out of hand.

Sound sculpts, and next we come in burned.

#51. The final Spiritualized reference for a while (if you discount the title of this venture… and a probable appearance in the year-ending album round-up). And at this stage, words should flow so swiftly – it’s been a while since getting dragged from the rubble of such specific attraction; a lost afternoon nearly two decades ago, when first listen arrived like epiphany.

Yet however hard I try, the desired sentiment continues to skulk elusively (for example: the word epiphany should never be wielded in a musical context). It’s kinda personal, you know? Entire albums in the Spiritualized back cat (ie. the first three) that operate on an intravenous level. Emotions as abstract as the contents of these very paragraphs, and yet as corporeal as igneous rock.

#51. Apt to close off here. A very specific track, a very simple track should you care to dissect, built around a solitary motif and pinned to a sea breeze of a bass riff. It comes in layers and dreams (of course); guitar, buzz-saw reverb, percussion that tiptoes around the melodic framework. The vocal is as strung out as J Spaceman ever gets, his voice way down in the mix as if some kind of hypnotic function is taking hold.

And it’s relentless, caressing brass breaks and the whole taking drugs to make music to take drugs by vibe. A record it’s easy to get lost in; to close your eyes and let the momentum sink in slowly.

(then never let go).

Spiritualized / If I Were With Her Now 

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3 thoughts on “FuckedUpFestiveFifty #51: Spiritualized

  1. I went right off Spiritualized after the “Ladies & Gentlemen…” album -even though I did buy some later singles… To tell you the truth I don’t know if I have this disc or not. Ever since my moving to Glasgow and back here I keep opening boxes and finding discs I don’t even remember having bought let alone having listened to. Flitting is such a bloody, huge drag. Anyway, opening boxes does somehow bring some nice surprises (e.g. a Spacemen 3 compilation on Munster Records) so i better keep at it.

    • I know exactly where you’re coming from, JF. Having had quite a few big moves myself over the years – not to mention one of those horrible record divorces; two ex-lovers arguing over who purchased what – I’m still at the stage at lunging towards the vinyl piles. Only, instead of a record I’d have sworn blindly I had, there’s only a disc of dubious provenance, something I had no idea I owned.

      (And as I’m sure you know, this works equally well for books).

      But back to the issue at hand: I’ve never met a single J Spaceman fan who’d argue that tracks post Ladies & Gentlemen struck previous heights. Even the latest album is somewhat hit and miss (although a couple of tracks are utterly awe-inspiring). But you know me – I won’t hear a word against them; cut me in half, and I’d have “fanboy” written all the way through. Hmm…

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