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Spiritualized Songs in A&E

  • Words: Tony Ware
  • Label: Universal
  • XLR8R Rating: 8/10

Listeners relish the tortured artist, who lets you play the passive healer just by indulging some artistic expression. So, for those famished to empathize, Jason “J. Spaceman” Pierce returns to the psychedelic gospel for the first time in five years. And this compelling 18-track collection (six parts harmonic interludes) is fed intravenously on his prime orchestral troupes/tropes of contrasting mortality and transcendence. These string- and horn-embellished chorales, named after an Accident & Emergency ward not an Arts & Entertainment section, were recorded primarily post-rehab and prior to Pierce’s near-death pneumonia, but in hospitalization’s shadow all deeply resonates even during the most anemic respiration. Bearing the symbolic cross of the catheter and syringe, this is a raspy, penitent convalescence set to cracked spirits and gently up-swept arrangements. Here’s to many healthy returns.

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