Songs in A&E

Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Newly focused energy, willfully restrained arrangements, and taut compositions give the set a sheer emotional power that no Spiritualized recording has ever displayed before, making it, quite possibly, their finest outing yet.
  2. Overall, Songs in A & E merges the familiar, sometimes disparate elements of past Spiritualized recordings, yet rarely comes across as a stale or uninspired career conclusion--kely due to the intense emotion that Spaceman puts into just about everything on here.
  3. Songs in A&E is certainly Spiritualized's best work in 10 years.
  4. 80
    Songs In A&E swells with tender, cautious optimism.
  5. In sick times, with extreme politics on the rise and a fright-wigged bad Tory joke in charge of London, this is an album you can retreat to for succour.
  6. Under The Radar
    80
    The songs are punctuated with numbered “Harmony” pieces, small intermissions that, along with the orchestration on the songs themselves, reveal Pierce’s growing skill as an arranger. [Summer 2008]
  7. Some may listen to Songs From A&E and dub Jason Pierce a one-trick pony. Which may be true, but what a trick he's managed to perfect.
  8. Delayed and coloured by a near-fatal bout of double pneu-monia, it is his most moving record since 1997's "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space."
  9. Songs In A&E is Pierce's best work since "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space"--easily his most personal.
  10. 80
    Songs in A&E, finds an eerie strength in quietude and mortality.
  11. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    Just when you think he's taken a turn for the cliche, even an allusion to drug use--"I've got a hurricane in my veins," he sings on 'Soul on Fire'--crescendos ino a string-laden little gem. [13 June 2008, p.70]
  12. Alternative Press
    70
    It's an honest record, a welcome return and a confident entry in the Spiritualized canon. [July 2008, p.156]
  13. Spiritualized always had that out-of-body, walk-toward-the-light quality; Pierce just seems to be doing it better now than on the last two albums.
  14. Although it remains, at its foundation, an exploration of themes that Pierce has long explored, Songs In A&E becomes more than the sum of its historical variants by directly placing emotional vulnerability at its focal point.
  15. It runs a little long, and it doesn't break much new thematic ground, but the album's great depth of feeling and its sure-footed execution outshine such minor problems.
  16. The album may not set the world on fire like "Ladies and Gentlemen," but it stands as the best Spiritualized album since that milestone, and a worthy successor.
  17. I’m gonna go way out on a limb and say that this is their best album yet.
  18. Pierce ties the dark to the light with poetic folk ballads like closing lullaby "Goodnight Goodnight," making A&E a strange and pleasing concoction of old and new.
  19. Mostly, though, this is music from someone who's been there and back, and now truly knows he prefers things here.
  20. The Wire
    80
    That this is Spiritualized's most vital and compelling set for a decade suggests that his muse has been galvinised by his near death experience. [May 2008, p.61]
  21. Spiritualized have always possessed an impressive grandeur, but on this album it is grandeur with a purpose--Songs in A&E is the sound of healing.
  22. Pierce hasn't totally rejected quick tempos and piled-high productions, but in the context of the album, the livelier songs are actually the least effective.
  23. 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.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Aug 1, 2011
    3
    I'm a big fan of some of their earlier work. This album may have been written at a tough time, but at least half the songs here sound like heI'm a big fan of some of their earlier work. This album may have been written at a tough time, but at least half the songs here sound like he just wrote down the first melody that popped into his head adn sound like they took all of 3 minutes to compose. Sadly, this band hasn't done anything of note since 2001's Let it come Down (and even that couldn't hold a candle to LAGWAFIS and LGM). I think, nostalgia, aside most fans of this once astonishing band would agree if they're being honest. Full Review »
  2. Apr 11, 2011
    10
    This album is incredible, so raw and moving. One of my favorites. Maybe his best, people will hate that I said that but oh well. Why do theseThis album is incredible, so raw and moving. One of my favorites. Maybe his best, people will hate that I said that but oh well. Why do these reviews have to be 150 characters long now? Full Review »
  3. [Anonymous]
    Nov 22, 2008
    9
    Great album, one of their best.