Spiritualized ringleader Jason Pierce isn't immune to '90s nostalgia. It provided an excellent opportunity to revisit his band's 1997 masterwork Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space during a 2009 tour, which helped inform the new Sweet Heart Sweet Light. On 2008's Songs in A&E, Pierce chronicled his near-death experience from pneumonia; on their seventh album, he's somewhere between fearing death and embracing life. But his sentiments don't involve much complexity: Pierce's 11-year-old daughter gets writing credit for "So Long You Pretty Thing"'s opening couplet, but she could have written any number of the verses here. It's a good thing the sounds are so bright and beautiful, and as gospel-inflected and outward-reaching as you'd expect. — Michael Tkach
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