Back in 2003 Spiritualized released a 3 EP version of their then current album, ‘Amazing Grace’. The first EP came with a box that would hold all 3, but if you only bought EP 2 and/or 3 you wouldn’t get the box. I have the box, and the three EP’s, though I think there was a pin or something included, which I don’t have.
It is a pretty cool thing, although it may have been a marketing excercise, still, it is a nice artifact. I already had the actual album so this means I now have it twice but that’s OK. I like Spiritualized and am still looking out for a couple of releases that I haven’t managed to find at a reasonable price. The tracks on the EPS’s are also in a different order to the album, I’ve no idea if they are randomly placed or if they are based on track length so that everything was able to fit on a different format.
|B1||Never Goin’ Back|
|B2||The Power And The Glory|
|A1||Lord Let It Rain On Me|
|B2||Lay It Down Slow|
|A1||She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)|
|B1||This Little Life Of Mine|
|B2||The Ballad Of Richie Lee|
It’s difficult to pass comment on any Spiritualized release when comparisons are always drawn against ‘Ladies and Gentlemen..’ which is quite rightly regarded as a classic album and is, in my opinion, almost perfect, but it is fair to say that, while not quite reaching the heights of that earlier release, this is a damn fine album. It has all the hallmarks that one would expect from a Spiritualized album and is a bit more ‘Indie’ in places, which is neither a negative nor a positive, it is just different. ‘This little life off mine’ is quite wonderful as is ‘She Kissed me’, in fact, there aren’t any bad tracks on the album. Listening to it in the original track order from the album is probably preferable I think, though that may be down to the fact that the original order is how I’ve always heard it so it is a little odd to hear them ordered differently.
This album was supposed to be a ‘garage’ album, as Jason Pierce said at the time “What I liked about The White Stripes was coming up in their slipstream, putting a guitar over your shoulder again and saying, ‘Hey, listen to this sound were making”. The tracks were given to the accompanying musicians in the morning and were supposed to be recorded and finished by the end of the day, As another commentator has noted, only Jason Pierce could produce an album with 11 brass and string musicians, timpani, a dulcimer and sleigh bells, and call it back to basics.
‘Amazing Grace’ does seem very familiar if you’ve been listening to earlier releases, and it also seems effortless. The ability to create such consistently high quality compositions and performances is quite a rare thing. It is an extraordinarily good album, full of pure beauty at times and sometimes it is noise, but it does all seem to sit together as though that is how all albums are mean to be.