After six years, the English band Spiritualized is back with And Nothing Hurt; a new addition to the vast collection of experimental rock. The album doesn’t shy away from experimenting with different flavors of music. Spiritualized is well known for its unique combinations of garage, psychedelic, space rock, R&B, and blues. If you are unfamiliar with the band Spiritualized, one thing you should know is that the only constant member of the band is front man, Jason Pierce. Known also as J. Spaceman, Pierce has almost thirty years of experience in the music industry. After parting ways with the late 80’s alt-rock set Spaceman 3, Pierce founded Spiritualized as the mastermind behind the outfit. Since the launch of the band in 1990, Pierce has written and produced eight albums. The neo-psychedelic dream pop album, Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space became an instant classic and rocketed the band to mainstream success in 1997. The following album, Let It Come Down-which utilizes more of a pro-rock, gospel sound–was also successful being certified gold. Pierce’s newest work And Nothing Hurt, proves that Pierce is still able to come up with unique fusions of musical genres without ever going stale.
The album begins with the soft ukulele-tuned song (“A Perfect Miracle”) setting the dreamlike tone of the album. “Darling, you know I’m sorry,” Pierce croons, apologizing to a lover he’s ready to move on from. The song ends with the warning, “Please don’t call”. A slew of string instruments and soft bell-like synths come together toward the ending chorus giving a feeling of contentment. Pierce utilizes this theme throughout the album by masterfully adding bright instrumentals to somber lyrics. Another example of this theme in the album is (“I’m Your Man”); a spaced out tune with undertones of country blues. “I could be faithful, honest, and true,” Pierce softly sings in the chorus before breaking out into an almost minute long guitar and brass solo. If there is one thing Jason Pierce has mastered, it’s definitely the technique of extravagant instrumental solos. (“The Morning After”) exhibits Pierce’s expertise by ending the song with a crescendo to an eruption of guitar, bass, synths, and horns. The sounds are laced together into a loud but entrancing climax that only an alt-rock veteran like Pierce can achieve. And Nothing Hurt still stays true to the space-rock spectrum with retrospective love songs; (“Damaged”) and (“The Prize”). Pierce dips into more feel good rock territory with (“On The Sunshine”), singing lyrics of positivity over almost-too-loud guitar riffs. The country tinged tune (“Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go) is a great addition to any road trip playlist. Pierce has been noted to use minimal sounds to get the most direct maximum effect. The spacey-pop (“Let’s Dance”) and soft eclectic-soul (“Sail on Through”) are artfully embellished with gospel-choir background vocals which add a new dimension to the music and lyrics.
And Nothing Hurt provides the spacey dream-like tone Spiritualized has always been known for and much more. Jason Pierce is definitely someone who lives for the art of music and this album reflects he is doing what was meant for him.