If there’s one factor that tales about area journey have taught us, it’s that point will get all snarled. Possibly that’s why it’s difficult to type a clear-cut narrative round Spiritualized’s newest album. In additional methods than one, All the pieces Was Lovely is tied to its predecessor, 2018’s And Nothing Damage: not solely does it full the well-known line from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-5 – a quote frontman Jason Pierce had thought-about utilizing as early because the mid-‘90s – its songs are additionally culled from the identical periods that produced that album, which date again to 2013 and 2014. The concept was to initially launch a double LP with the complete quote because the title, however separating them on this manner offers All the pieces Was Lovely a special emotional weight. In comparison with the quiet, weary restraint displayed on And Nothing Damage, an album so gruelling to make Pierce promoted it by saying it is likely to be his final, All the pieces Was Lovely is a triumphant return to the epic preparations and overblown manufacturing that followers have come to count on from the challenge. However “return” is a difficult phrase to make use of right here – one album clearly got here after the opposite, however when you begin to meet the music by itself intergalactic phrases, the connection between them turns into tougher to pin down.
And that’s earlier than you keep in mind the remainder of the Spiritualized universe. On one hand, All the pieces Was Lovely, their ninth studio album, feels in dialog with a major a part of the band’s catalog, significantly the 1997 masterpiece Women and Gents We Are Floating in House – and although they haven’t launched a nasty album since, it’s perhaps the primary that appears able to matching it in ambition, depth, and scale. At this level, Spiritualized have such a uniquely identifiable sound that listeners might spend a very long time not solely decoding the album’s many allusions, but in addition mentioning similarities to particular moments within the band’s previous. However there are additionally parts of All the pieces Was Lovely, whose title so completely encapsulates the nostalgia it each dwells in and elicits, that straight try to drag from or recreate that previous, from the medicine-themed packaging that calls again to Women and Gents to the truth that a feminine voice, this time Pierce’s daughter Poppy, broadcasts the album’s title on opener ‘At all times Collectively With You’. When all of it exists in the identical continuum, the album appears to ask, how do you create one thing that carries the identical unshakable spirit whereas standing firmly by itself? How do you flip some hazy vestige of the previous into a lovely expression of the current?
Proper from the beginning, the album finds Spiritualized at their most invigorated and alive. The magnificent opener ‘At all times Collectively With You’ relays the singer’s devotion in a language each cosmic and human in its simplicity, revelling as a lot within the transportive layers of space-rock instrumentation because the immediacy of traditional ‘60s pop. “If you wish to be a universe, I might be a universe for you,” he sings, a mission he accomplishes not solely via the string of references he weaves into the tracks, but in addition by using a big group of musicians so as to carry and remodel ones that may at one level have match into the comparatively subdued and somber world of And Nothing Damage. They sound simply as wealthy and luxurious, however extra decided to constantly and meticulously drive the momentum ahead as a substitute of ambling across the similar area. It’s what permits highlights like ‘The Mainline Tune’ and ‘Let It Bleed (For Iggy)’ to achieve transcendent heights, driving alongside ecstatic grooves and hovering into celestial choruses whereas retaining a exceptional stability. Even the file’s calmest second, the country-leaning Nikki Lane collaboration ‘Loopy’, feels much less like a sigh of aid than a parallel universe-take on the romantic rush of ‘At all times Collectively With You’.
All the pieces Was Lovely would possibly sound prefer it’s catering to longtime followers, however even those that have the faintest familiarity with the band’s music ought to discover one thing to take pleasure in in its wonderful but reflective maximalism. There is likely to be one thing to be gained in making an attempt to make sense of the euphoric sentiment of the album within the context of Pierce’s ongoing preoccupation with mortality, however even when he engages with that historical past on the 10-minute nearer ‘I’m Coming Residence’, it nonetheless makes for a rousing, joyful finale. “Kinda had it with philosophy/ ‘Trigger I’m pondering I’m however I’m failing to be,” he admits, and residential appears much less like an outdated consolation than a brand new vacation spot. Pierce invitations us on that journey, the type that may positively make you reminisce on the previous. However linked as it’s to every part that got here earlier than it, the second you fall for All the pieces Was Lovely is the second it turns into its personal factor.