My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #09

Number 09

The background behind what would eventually be the inspiration for Spiritualized’s sixth full-length, Songs In A & E, easily wins for the most bizarre and ultimately triumphant story in music in 2008, at least in my opinion. If some of the songs on the record sound like they are being sung by a man living the last seconds of his life as he writes inside of a desolate hospital room, then Spiritualized have done their job of re-creating a time in a life that had to be extremely devastating. In 2005, frontman Jason Pierce came down with multiple illnesses, including those that started to feast away at his eyelids, then his bronchial area as it all ultimately came to respiratory failure. He was literally staring death in its face, and some of the songs he had been working on in the time prior to spending this extensive time in “(A)ccident (&) (E)mergency” were beginning to come back into his head. Miraculously living through this terrible ordeal, Pierce had later given full consideration to scrapping the idea of focusing on this awful period in his life, and if it hadn’t been for filmmaker Harmony Korine’s encouragement to finish a record revolving around his near-death experience, Songs In A & E would never have been here; and after one listen to this album in full, you’ll be gratfeful he had the courage to make genuine art from all of the madness. It is a sprawling achievement in every sense of the word, and the masterwork that towers above anything Pierce has created in his career to date. May you live a long life, Sir.

1.Harmony 1 (Mellotron)
2.Sweet Talk
3.Death Take Your Fiddle
4.I Gotta Fire
5.Soul On Fire
6.Harmony 2 (Piano)
7.Sitting On Fire
8.Yeah Yeah
9.You Lie You Cheat
10.Harmony 3 (Voice)
11.Baby I’m Just A Fool
12.Don’t Hold Me Close
13.Harmony 4 (The Old Man…)
14.The Waves Crash In
15.Harmony 5 (Accordion)
16.Borrowed Your Gun
17.Harmony 6 (Glockenspiel)
18.Goodnight Goodnight

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