Spiritualized - Live At Royal Albert Hall
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Spiritualized
Live At Royal Albert Hall

I don't tend to like live recordings as much as studio offerings, partially due to my anal side liking the crisp-ness and clean-sounding qualities that are the product of such. Lately, though, I've found myself very attracted to the unique-ness of individual recordings, and have found myself trying to get my hands on more of them. After hearing this amazing 2CD output by Spiritualized, I'm even more in favor of the concept. Truely, this is how it should be done. Although the 2CD format does admittingly throw a break in an otherwise seamless performance, I really can't find much else to complain about.

First off, the recording is excellent and the only crowd noise to be heard is during the very short breaks between songs (in which there is usually a drone of some sort going anyway). While favoring songs on their latest release Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space, they've also included tracks from both of their other albums, as well as a couple other tracks from yet another source. The best things about the songs that they perform, though, is that while they hold some similarities to their studio counterparts, most of the time they manage to take off in other directions as well. The instrumental "Electric Mainline" from their Pure Phase album takes on a completely new life of its own as it spirals upwards and upwards, reaching a furor that the original never dreamed of. The weeping "Broken Heart" is even more effective with a choir backup and the 17-minute epic "Cop Shoot Cop" is the cornerstone of the bands mastery of making beautiful noise.

Combined, the 2 discs add up to about 95 minutes of music and is not only a must for any person who likes Spiritualized, but for anyone who wants to hear what a live recording should sound like. The band doesn't miss a step, and the production was their to capture it all in full splendor. The amazing package design on the import version (not sure what the domestic looks like) just adds to the documentation of such a great musical event.

rating: 810
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00