not a member? click here to sign up

Songs In A & E

A&E isn’t a reinvention for Spiritualized, but while that might be a disappointment for some, the comforting embrace of familiarity shouldn’t be underrated.

Rating: 8 / 10

Stephen Errity, 20 May 2008



Despite its title, Spiritualized’s fifth opus was actually written largely before frontman Jason Pierce’s brush with death via pneumonia, in 2005. It’s nonetheless an oddly prescient work, with his vocals sounding more world-weary and frail than ever and some particularly spooky moments in light of subsequent events, such as the laboured breathing and morbid lyrical references in ‘Death Take Your Fiddle’.

Listening to A&E, one gets the feeling that Pierce was still somewhat conscious of the backlash against 2001’s overambitious Let It Come Down when writing this record, and used the same back-to-basics sensibility that informed its follow-up Amazing Grace. Delicate, folksier melodies and a sparse, organic sound are favoured over the occasional bursts into grungy garage rock of old, and it’s not until the ninth track ‘You Lie You Cheat’ that the guitars are given a proper workout. ‘I Gotta Fire’ and ‘Yeah Yeah’ come close, too, but still apply a lighter touch than the likes of ‘She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)’ from previous albums.

Slower and more laid-back it may be, but it’s still as beautiful and painstakingly crafted as any of Pierce’s previous work, with the quiet grandeur of the strings-and-acoustic number ‘Sitting On Fire’ and the gentle folksy strum of ‘Baby I’m Just A Fool’ being particular highlights.

Key Track: ‘Baby I’m Just A Fool’


Rating: 8 / 10
Artist Related Content

Latest Related Articles For This Artist

WATCH: Culkin brother stars in hard hitting Spiritualized video

Macaulay Culkin’s younger brother Rory stars in the new promo for Spiritualized’s ‘I Am What I Am’ single.


News: 19 Aug 2013

High And Mighty

Spiritualized’s sonic astronaut Jason Pierce talks near death experiences, making classic records and his disdain for rock and roll nostalgia.


Interview: 15 May 2012

Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Space rockers’ seventh is a paean to the music they love


REVIEW: 14 May 2012

Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Space rockers’ seventh is a paen to the music they love


REVIEW: 09 May 2012

Spiritualized lead Body & Soul additions

More smooth grooves for Westmeath...


News: 25 Apr 2012

best of ireland

Contact Us

Hot Press,
13 Trinity Street,
Dublin 2.
Rep. Of Ireland
Tel: +353 (1) 241 1500

Email:info@hotpress.ie

Click here for more contact information.

Click here to find out more about Hot Press

Hot Press always welcomes feed back so if you've got something to tell us click here.

Advertise With Us

For more detail on how to advertise with Hot Press click here or call us on +353 (1) 241 1540