Following the critical success of 1997’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Jason Pierce a.k.a. Spaceman and his reconfigured band Spiritualized return with Let It Come Down. One part rock opera, one part new millenium soul and one part symphonic psychadelia, the album is less a sanction for sobriety than it is a struggle to comprehend the path that leads there. “The Straight and the Narrow” details Spaceman’s unapologetic wagon-jumping (“The trouble with the straight and the narrow/Is that I keep falling to the side”) while tracks like “Do It All Over Again” proves the album is anything but a rehabilitation. Laying in bed, metaphors of flying—spiritually and chemically—abound, Spaceman sinks in paradoxical self-deprecation amid the lush string and brass arrangement of “Don’t Just Do Something”: “I’m good for nothing/Nothing is good enough for me.” Likewise, “Out of Sight” is at once pompously overbloated and fabulously pretentious; its sentiment is witty if not entirely simplistic: “If I am good I could add years to my life/I’d rather add some life to my years.” The spritely piano melody of “I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You” gradually builds to a dense orchestration; cue the London Community Gospel Choir and your rock-epic fantasy is complete.
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