Spiritualized's seventh album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, returns to the soaring rock & roll symphonies of their classic album Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, inspired in part by the band performing that album on tour while Jason Pierce and company wrote new songs. Recorded over the course of two years in locations as far-flung as Los Angeles, Wales, and Reykjavik but mixed in Pierce's own house, the album is similarly expansive but familiar, with Pierce mentioning Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, and Peter Br”tzmann as other touchstones. The Velvet Underground-like chug of album opener "Hey Jane" just underscores that Spiritualized are experts at re-energizing rock's traditional and experimental impulses.
Rolling Stone (p.78) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Spiritualized resolve the rift between Sixties psychedelia and Seventies punk backlash, with focused melodies and pummeled grooves that spin into rainbow-hued infinity."
Entertainment Weekly (p.112) - "[With] blissed-out guitar fuzz and melodic psych-hymns...their catchiest effort in years." -- Grade: A-
Alternative Press (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]hat emerges from SWEET HEART SWEET LIGHT's cyclical motions is a surprisingly light touch; Pierce's vocals and playing reach higher and push farther forward than they did on previous albums."
Magnet (p.56) - "The heady combination of orchestral maneuvers, spiritual posturing and drone-imbued psychedelia make this a seductive listening experience, and as usual, Pierce is still looking for redemption."
Q (Magazine) (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Country-soul warms the exquisitely weary kiss-off 'Freedom' and the climactic 'So Long You Pretty Things'....A pleasure..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[They] still sound fantastic....[The album] draws out the same intense emotional responses as that first album..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.76) - "[I]t's Pierce's formative, canonical influences that continue to dominate the Spiritualized sound....It's undeniably stirring..."