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Spiritualized: Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

Lots of people lump Jason Pierce's band Spiritualized into the ill-defined genre of "psychedelic" music, but his material is far too densely hypnotic and involving to fit neatly into such anachronistic pigeonholes. Over the course of three albums with Spiritualized— and many more as half of the influential Spacemen 3—Pierce's recordings have felt more like narcotics each time, wandering through headtrips that range from dreamily detached sedatives ("Broken Heart," "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space") to full-blown uppers (the thrilling "Electricity"). What's amazing about Floating In Space is how diversely melodic it is: Its 69 minutes are musically challenging, densely constructed, and constantly taking on ambitious new forms—yet shockingly hummable from start to finish. The record also possesses moments of safe, sleepy, blissed-out beauty, but you wouldn't want to use it as background noise. Spiritualized's music has always accompanied the implicit instructions that it should be consumed along with a rigorous course of mind-altering drugs. But give this terrific career highlight a listen—take it in without distractions, complete with stereo-headphone treatment—and then decide for yourself if the album isn't all you need to produce the chemical enhancement you're looking for.


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