Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I think know I'm in love

For me, 1997 was all about OK Computer (hence my particular dismay at not being at Glastonbury on Friday evening). It wasn't until a few years later that I even heard the album that grappled with Radiohead's third LP for so many people's affections. Needless to say, Spiritualized's Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space belatedly blew me away, and even if I do marginally prefer its predecessor Pure Phase, it's only fitting that its twentieth anniversary should be marked as well as that of Radiohead's magnum opus.

As Loud And Quiet's Sam Walton points out, the two records had plenty in common: "Typical: you wait ages for one era-defining masterpiece third album by a notoriously perfectionist band that incorporates nods towards experimental jazz, psychedelia and contemporary classical music in a firm rebuttal of Britpop and which is housed in coldly medicinal blue and white artwork full of aloof, impersonal slogans - and then two come along on the same day." Walton heaps praise on Ladies And Gentlemen for its visceral impact and the meticulousness of its construction, as the work of a man with a "singular sense of purpose".

Meanwhile, in a piece for Noisey, Cam Lindsay also mentions Jason Pierce's "singular vision", but instead traces the parallels and connections between Spiritualized and another band who released a landmark LP in 1997, The Verve. I've never had any time for Richard Ashcroft, but if (as Lindsay plausibly claims) Ladies And Gentlemen derives much of its emotional power from the fact that Kate Radley had chosen him over Pierce, then I guess I should be grudgingly grateful.

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