Posted in Music

Everything Was Beautiful – Spiritualized album review

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles, and happy world book day as well!! You’d think I’d have a book-related post today, but…nope. No thoughts, only Spiritualized for the next 3-5 business weeks.

Normally, I wait for a few days to a week after an album’s release to review it, but…well, between my listening to it yesterday and my dad playing it the whole way through in the car yesterday evening, I’ve probably listened to it three or four times in its entirety already, so…

Spiritualized has been one of my favorite bands for around two years—even longer, if you count when I first heard “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” for the first time and listened to it on repeat to fall asleep on vacation. Their music, if I had to describe it in one word, is all-consuming; J Spaceman has built a stunning career out of making a song into a vast cosmos of sound, making themes of heartbreak, addiction, and new love into the dictionary definition of larger-than-life. That’s what I’ve always loved about his music—his songs never feel like just songs, but experiences.

By the time I’d really gotten into Spiritualized, I’d accepted that I wouldn’t be able to see him live or experience a new album of his; he’d said in several interviews that And Nothing Hurt would likely be his last album. But in late 2021, we were gifted with the best kind of surprise: we would be getting more Spiritualized after all!! Now that it’s here, I can say with certainty that there isn’t a single bad song on this album. It’s probably impossible to re-achieve the genius of Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space or Sweet Heart Sweet Light, but Everything Was Beautiful comes very close, even at just seven songs.

Enjoy this album review!


TRACK 1: “Always Together With You” – 10/10

This was the first single to come out of this album, and it singlehandedly provided all of the serotonin that I needed to get through the rest of 2021, so there’s that.

It’s not hard for me to say that this is easily one of Spiritualized’s best songs. Expansive and cosmic, I feel as though I’ve been lifted into the air and through the clouds every time I listen to it. I was texting my family about it when it first came out, and I jokingly called it “‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space’ but happy,” and as much of a joke it was, it feels true; “Always Together With You” feels like a more matured, more hopeful version of its predecessor, down to the morse code sounds and J Spaceman’s daughter (😭) saying the album’s title at the very beginning. Absolute masterpiece.

TRACK 2: “Best Thing You Never Had (The D Song)” – 8.5/10

Smoothly transitioning from “Always Together With You,” “Best Thing You Never Had” keeps up the momentum set up by the first track with classic Spiritualized elements—catchy guitars, a backing choir, and what sounds like a good-sized brass section. Just as spacey as ever, it’s the perfect song for rolling the windows down in your car, and it’s sure to cement this album as one of Spiritualized’s best.

TRACK 3: “Let It Bleed (For Iggy)” – 9.5/10

When I saw Spiritualized back at the beginning of the month, this was one of my favorites of the new songs they played. Now that I’m hearing it through my headphones, it’s one of my favorites off the album! Here’s where the momentum sustained by “Best Thing You Never Had” picks up once more, with another sweeping, all-consuming thing of pure beauty.

TRACK 4: “Crazy” (cover of Nikki Lane’s “Out of My Mind”) – 8.5/10

(so apparently this is a cover?? took me a while to find out…I guess because the original has a different title)

“Crazy” is one of my least favorites on the album, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. Even as a cover (I’ve only listened to the original once, so…), it’s indicative of the quiet, genuine tenderness that J Spaceman is capable of amidst all of the heartbreak and darkness that’s prevalent in so many of his other songs. Lovely.

TRACK 5: “The Mainline Song” – 9.5/10

This is another Spiritualized piece that seems more like a journey than a song—all of the train sounds layered in only adds to that effect. With J Spaceman’s airy vocals and rushing instrumentals, it’s another song that seems to physically carry you somewhere else, watching the clouds rushing by. It doesn’t even matter that it’s chiefly instrumental—it’s an unmistakable highlight of the album.

TRACK 6: “The A Song (Laid In Your Arms)” – 9.5/10

Like “Best Thing You Never Had,” “The A Song” is a persistent, powerful march reminiscent of Spiritualized’s harder side. For Spiritualized, longer songs are a common sight, but at over seven minutes long, this song never loses its impact or momentum, delivering guitars and brass that crash against you like waves on the shore. Nothing short of a masterpiece—and another song that was phenomenal live!

TRACK 7: “I’m Coming Home Again” – 10/10

For a lot of Spiritualized albums, the final song is either a sweeping ballad or a mournful, soft ending. “I’m Coming Home Again” is neither of those—and it’s almost more powerful than some examples of both. It’s the longest song on the album at almost 10 minutes long, and like “The A Song,” never loses its momentum all that time. But unlike the former, it achieves its affect more in its consistent feeling of foreboding. It’s a haunting song—I have an oddly specific feeling that it would mesh perfectly in the second-to-last episode of a TV show, in a scene where the main character gets their revenge, walking away from lighting something on fire. From the first notes to the final strains of the choir, “I’m Coming Home Again” is a looming masterpiece, and an unexpected but perfect ending to a near-flawless album.

I averaged out all my ratings for each track, and it came to about a 9.4! Absolutely accurate to how I feel about Everything Was Beautiful—it’s hard to touch some of Spiritualized’s other albums, but this album establishes itself as one of J Spaceman’s masterpieces. It’s the perfect melding of the sound of 90’s Spiritualized with the hope of 10’s Spiritualized, and it makes for an album with a lasting, haunting, and eternally memorable effect. Thank you, J Spaceman, for another religious experience. 💗

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Since this is an album review, consider the entire album today’s song.

That’s it for this album review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: July 6-12, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

As usual, July has been sWELTERING here, so there have been several afternoons that I’ve felt like I’ve almost melted into a puddle. (Luckily, I’m still in one piece 😜) Somehow, I’ve read a bunch this week? Other than the fact that half of the books I’ve read have been a little bit shorter (in the 200 page zone), I’ve just sped through a lot of books. I’ve been on a fantasy kick for no apparent reason, but I’m only now being satiated by The Iron Flower. But, my library’s slowly reopening, and there’s now curbside pickup for holds without appointments, so I got to have my first library haul since the pandemic started!

Other than that, it’s been a nice week. I binge-watched all of Over the Garden Wall in one go on Monday night (shhh, each episode is only…10 minutes long…I swear…), made some slow progress on my puzzle, FaceTimed a close friend of mine (who I got to rant about Aurora Burning with), and watched What We Do in the Shadows. So other than the heat, I’ve enjoyed the first week and a half of July, I think.

As far as NaNoWriMo goes, I’m already halfway through my goal of 5,000 words for my short story, and I’m…around the middle? I think? There’s a period of several time jumps leading up to the climax (part of it involves watching a baby grow up, so…), but we’re…getting there. My hunch is that it’ll get to about 6,000 or 7,000 words once it’s finished. But I’m enjoying myself so far. 🙂

Oh, and before I get to everything else, big thank you to Beck @ SMELLFOY CAN READ? for the shoutout on her blog! 💗 (If you don’t follow her already, I highly suggest that you do. Her posts always make me laugh, and she has a formidable arsenal of gifs and quality memes.)


Slaughterhouse-Five–Kurt Vonnegut (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with ...

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2)–Douglas Adams (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe ...

A Fierce and Subtle Poison–Samantha Mabry (⭐️⭐️.5) A Fierce and Subtle Poison eBook: Mabry, Samantha ...

Blood Heir–Amélie Wen Zhao (⭐️⭐️⭐️) Blood Heir eBook: Zhao, Amélie Wen: Kindle Store

Night Music–Jenn Marie Thorne (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) Night Music (9780735228771): Thorne, Jenn Marie: Books




The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles, #2)–Laurie Forest The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles ...

All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars, #2)–Heather Fawcett All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars Book 2 ...

Surviving the City–Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan

Surviving the City (Volume 1) (9781553797562 ... -

When We Were Magic–Sarah Gailey When We Were Magic eBook: Gailey, Sarah: Kindle Store

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!