Let It Come Down
Jason Pierce (a.k.a. Spirtualized) continues to move further afield. His days in Spaceman 3 are distant, becoming a smaller and smaller blip on the narcotic powered radar. But for all the changes Pierce’s made (after the stellar Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space, he canned his lineup), his new effort, Let It Come Down, is not the radical departure one would expect. In fact, it’s far from it. Once again we’re presented with trance-like, symphony-bolstered rock. A legion of performers has been enlisted to create that booming, trademark Phil Spector spectacular sound fans have grown accustomed to. The only discernable deviation is the greater reliance on American gospel and country styles and themes. As usual though, the instrumentation blasts and swirls around Pierce’s tiny voice. Pierce’s fragile vocals occasionally sound like he’s singing through a Pringles can in an auditorium. The beauty of such juxtapositions, however, may be in the ear of the listener. It’s an acquired taste.
To the album’s credit, numbers like “Do It All Over Again,” “Don’t Just Do Something,” “Stop Your Crying,” and “Out Of Sight” are weighty enough, emotive, and so full of power that they practically carry the album by themselves. “Do It All Over Again” is such a repetitive, yet remarkably catchy tune, not unlike Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” that it has instant commercial co-opt potential. It may be a 2002 version of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Whether your mother will soon be humming it or not, it can’t be denied. Like so many of the other tracks on Let It Come Down, it’s an orch-rock tour de force.
At their best on Let It All Come Down, Spiritualized expertly pull off the grand sound. In these cases bigger proves better. At other times, the melodies, some excruciatingly inaccessible, get lost in the flurry of overwrought arrangements. So it is with “I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You,” and to a lesser extent, “Anything More.” The only other thing that might be lamented is the length of the songs themselves. Why the five-to-seven minute standard? Couldn’t Pierce be just as effective in a three-minute format? All this aside, Let It Come Down has been worth the wait and has much to offer.