Sweet Heart Sweet Light


Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
Buy On
  1. Apr 16, 2012
    Not only does Sweet Heart Sweet Light hit all patented Spiritualized thematic buttons squarely between the eyes – religion, drugs, sickness and redemption – it is also a record that covers everything with a Wyoming sized scoop of full-fat icky sentiment.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 10, 2012
    I've been thinking about this album a lot, which qualifies Jason Spaceman for some kind of lifetime achievement award, or as another criticI've been thinking about this album a lot, which qualifies Jason Spaceman for some kind of lifetime achievement award, or as another critic suggested, a "public service" honor. My first inclination is to compare it to other albums by Spiritualized, because I found myself thinking once this one managed to sink in for what it "is," "this is as good as Pure Phase [my favorite on there being 'These Blues'] and Lazer Guided Melodies." This means a lot, seeing I've been following all the records and seeing the live shows over the last few years, and these thoughts just didn't come up even though I liked what I was hearing each time, a lot. Most people prefer "Ladies and Gentlemen..." above the other LPs, which has some of the best moments in Spiritualized, no doubt. I generally like abstraction, so high points for me have been "Pure Phase" and "Lazer Guided Melodies" (to give the reader some idea, I adore Slowdive's last album "Pygmalion" - very abstract). And I prefer the recently released demos for "Ladies and Gentlemen" a bit more than the actual album, which in parts has always been a little too polished for me, notwithstanding the brilliance of "Come Together" or "Cop Shoot Cop," say. Anyway, this new album I have concluded is among the top four Spiritualized albums - it's the fourth added to the three top-tier entries, in my view, already mentioned, and maybe even the top one; this one seals the deal, a deal I didn't even realize needed to be sealed beforehand. "Sweet Heart, Sweet Light" is probably best seen not in comparison to the others, however, but as a capstone - a real capstone, not the kind of "capstone" administrators want to sign you up for. "I Am What I Am" is one of the finest tautological moments in recent rock n roll, and is on par with "Cop Shoot Cop," to which Dr. John also added piano. The last track, "So Long You Pretty Thing" - whose appeals to Jesus with a new genuineness at first threw me entirely (I was like "huh?" as on the cover) - is perhaps the finest thing Jason Spacemen has ever written. There is a new depth here represented perfectly by the very end of "Hey Jane" where after a set of "Nah Nahs" he and others sing "Sweet heart, sweet light, sweet heart and love of my life." This album takes at least a dozen listens to sink in; even those "Nah Nahs," which for me now are like gates opening up to paradise in the here and now, seemed trite to me on the first few listens ; indeed "Hey Jane" sounded repetitive and lazy to me the first few listens until it came together for me subjectively; now I see it for what it "is" - the mark of an album opened as phenomenally as it is closed ("So Long You Pretty Thing"). When you read very negative reviews of this album, they echo some of my own initial impressions, about how the lyrics are cliched (wishing "one could fly," say), or about fitting a particular Spiritualized prescription we know a bit too well. But here I think you might be hearing from people who didn't give this album enough time. Unlike those who filed a review before giving a nice amount of time, consider giving it two to three weeks, and I'm convinced if Rolling Stone had listened a few more weeks, they would have given this album at least four stars rather than three and a half, which is strong for them as is. The album is stellar. I'd like to point out the wonderfully consistent approach to the lyrics in "I Am What I Am," where things are turned inside out over and over, which is beautifully dialectical (kind of like turning a glove inside out) - "I am the road that drives the cars," for example. There is a conceptual consistency to the lyrics in this song that easily qualifies it as contemporary art; that said, there's a beauty that everyone can get this for ten to twenty five dollars unlike Damien Hirst's prints, say. I disagree that there is nothing new lyrically here: there is a greater variety of entry points to reality and emotions than on earlier records and a (still sophisticated) hope that has me listening to earlier Spiritualized records and thinking "I'm really into where they are right now... I'm happy for them." Also, the references to having "wasted time," 'for real', on this album are new lyrically, matched with a gritty honesty that's also new. Lastly, if you can see them play this one live, do. They played "Stay with me" nestled within these new songs recently. In this case you could hear the new material beginning to "infect" the earlier music in the best way imaginable. Spaceman's vocals at the end of "Stay with me" felt more raw and driven by heart-felt content than on past records, and that's saying something I never thought I'd say. To pay Jason Spaceman a compliment on his own terms, with new album I can finally separate him, as author, from every song he has ever written, and I like what I'm hearing; sounds like best of 2012 to me. Full Review »
  2. Apr 17, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. If you've heard the previous three Spiritualized albums, then you've already heard Sweet Heart Sweet Light. The album sounds more uplifting than the previous three albums, but the overall sound is dull. More songs about God, Jesus, the Lord, something set on fire, something being on a roll, about how he's not getting into heaven, etc.. That said, there are four good songs on the album and "Hey Jane" is by far the best song I've heard in years. Too bad the album goes downhill after track 2. Full Review »
  3. May 26, 2012
    Already highly successful classical intro introduces effectively in the climate of the Spiritualized's album - "Sweet Heart Sweet Light".Already highly successful classical intro introduces effectively in the climate of the Spiritualized's album - "Sweet Heart Sweet Light". Songs like "Hey Jane" or "I Am What I Am" show the best side of the space rock, which was also on the disc enriched with elements of neo-psychedelia, while more subdued songs - such as "Mary", "Freedom" or "Too Late" are characterized by insertions deriveng from classic rock. Full Review »