First Appeared at The Music Box, December 2003, Volume 10, #12
Written by T.J. Simon
Spiritualizedís 2001 release Let It Come Down was a textbook lesson in how to make a majestic rock album. Band leader and vocalist Jason Pierce assembled an orchestra and choir to supplement his grandiose rock compositions with astonishing results. Imagine how disappointing it must be, then, to discover that Pierce has fully abandoned this winning formula in favor of mainstream and unremarkable garage rock on the groupís follow-up effort Amazing Grace. The songs range from feedback-heavy rockers (This Little Life of Mine, Cheapster) to meandering ballads ó all of which never seem to go anywhere (Rated X, Lay It Down Slow). The best moments of the disc employ bits of the previous albumís orchestration ó a choir on Lord Let It Rain on Me and the monster build up to Hold On ó but ultimately itís too little, too late. The symphonic tracks are enjoyable but they also distinctly feel like out-takes from the Let It Come Down sessions. The run-of-the-mill hard rockers illustrate that Pierceís creaky voice lacks the strength to carry an album without dressing it up with a wall of sound. Overall, Amazing Grace isnít a painful listen, but itís nothing special, either. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box