Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (1997)
1997 saw great new albums from Pavement, Radiohead, The Verve, Oasis and Foo Fighters, some of which we have already paid tribute to in this very feature. But Spiritualized is a group that as far as I can recall has only shown up as honorable mentions on lists I’ve done. Let’s change that right now by taking a look at certainly their best album, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
This album is a great one to listen to as you wander the streets, ride a bus or look out an airplane window. It’s slow and hypnotic, spending plenty of time working on repetitive riffs that somehow become catchy and memorable. There’s an element of sadness to the album, but it comes more from a disappointment in the state of the world and human nature than usual musical tropes.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is also one of those albums that works best taken in its entirety. The songs are arranged in such away that one track leads into the next, it’s hard to describe, but each song seems better when taken in context. When I play the LP I always start on the first track, it just feels wrong to begin anywhere else, and I often find myself sticking with it for much of the way through. I don’t really think of it as individual songs, but one cohesive whole. By the way, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is 70 minutes long (it even says so on the album cover), including an amazing 17-minute final track.
I got hooked by hearing the opening track, “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.” The simplicity of the song and the astounding repetition of the lyric “all I want in life’s a little bit of love to take the pain away” really got to me. This is another side of Brit Pop, one I definitely believe deserved more attention and acclaim.
Favorite Tracks: “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space,” “Come Together,” “I Think I’m in Love”