By Kwase Lane, Contributor
[Fat Possum; 2018]
Key Tracks: “A Perfect Miracle”, “On the Sunshine”, “The Prize”
Much like its namesake, Spiritualized‘s And Nothing Hurt offers to unstick its audience from time. On their eighth studio album, Spiritualized take listeners down a gently winding river of nostalgia, a more mellow turn coming off their last album. Whereas Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is stained with a bitter pain, And Nothing Hurt seems to be looking wistfully at the past’s joys and woes.
The journey downstream begins with “A Perfect Miracle”. Singer Jason Pierce’s vocals float effortlessly over a delicate percussion. The song begins as a proclamation of love but collapses as Pierce finds further reasons to stray from the subject. “Darling, you know, I’m sorry / I won’t get to see you this year / I hate to confess but I’ve changed my address / I haven’t been home in a little while.” Just as the narrative comes crashing down so too do the vocals, forming a beautiful spiral of excuses and regret.
The album continues with “On the Sunshine”. A mantra of “take it easy” is repeated over a contrastingly symphonic blending of trumpets and symbols. The strained delivery of the vocals coalesces with the other elements forming a sort- of paradox urging you to stop and smell the flowers, all the while pushing you to the next topic at hand.
The album’s penultimate track, “And Nothing Hurt”, begins to wind down. In perhaps the most thematically charged song on the album, Pierce discusses his uncertainty about life, mortality and love. Although the topics at being highlighted are the furthest thing from relaxing, the entire track has a hazy, dreamlike quality, almost like it’s saying, “This is a problem for tomorrow”.
Spiritualized’s latest project demonstrates a refined tonal focus that doesn’t sacrifice variety. The lyrics are laced with a remarkable amount of maturity, the sentiments subtle enough that they almost feel like your own. Each track is marked by scars from pains long past without feeling too whiny or sorry for itself. His wizened voice combined with the naivety of his words make this a near perfect album to drown your sorrows in with a cup of coffee on a rainy night. You might not always know how to describe what you’re going through, but neither does Pierce, and there’s something comforting about that.