Spiritualized - The Complete Works Volume 2
Covering singles, instrumentals, b-sides and live tracks, The Complete Works Volume Two spans the albums Pure Phase, Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space, and Let It Come Down.
As singles Let It Flow and Stop Your Crying (their best known hit) prove, Spiritualized have few equals when it comes to creating timelessly gorgeous music, whether it be evoking narcotic bliss or the pains of being in love. Most of the included singles are lifted directly from the albums, with the exception of re-recorderd versions of Lay Back in the Sun and Come Together, and a (pointless) radio edit of I Think I’m In Love.
Of the instrumentals, only Cool Waves seems to have been re-arranged (emphasising the band’s classical leanings), but the backing-tracks are generally lush enough to be of interest in their own right. Amazing Grace (Peace on Earth) is seven minutes of jazz clatter, the sort of thing that newcomers might find hard-going, but seasoned followers should have no trouble with.
Live versions of On Fire and Come Together allow the band to rock out spectacularly. Both have an impressive breadth of sound. Do It All Over Again is more subdued than the studio incarnation, and, as you might expect, utterly beautiful.
Unfortunately, the less said about the band’s interpretation of The X Files Theme, the better. It begins eerily enough, but deteriorates into a (hopefully deliberate) joke. There is also a sense of repetition, with tracks appearing in two or three different takes; yet it should be noted this release isn’t completely exhaustive, in that at least The Chemical Brothers’ mixes of I Think I’m in Love are missing.
Those unfamiliar with the band are advised to buy the albums first, although this compilation does work well as an overview of the latter half of their career. However, for fans wishing to fill in the holes in their Spiritualized collection, this is unreservedly recommended; there’s little doubting the sheer quality of music here.