Albums For The Apocalypse #7: Spiritualized’s ‘Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space’

March 30, 2020 | By

Spiritualized - Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space ...

Imagine you’re sitting in your house reading this article. Imagine you’re in that house with your family, and that there are millions of people sitting in their own homes with their own families doing something very similar. Imagine you and all those millions, billions, trillions of people are situated on a massive rock; though the size of this rock is rendered meaningless by the infinitely gargantuan void in which it floats in orbit of a giant ball of fire. Once you’ve got that image in your head, you just about understand what Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space is all about. Ya dig?

With an array of musicians far too large and diverse to list here, J. Spaceman a.k.a. Jason Pierce and company created an album that makes a truly admirable attempt to encapsulate the essence of human existence (emphasis on ‘existence’… as well as on ‘human’), and perhaps the definitive space rock album. If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘space rock’, think of the cacophonous and linear jams of The Velvet Underground, crossed with the envelope-pushing drawn out jazz fusion musings of Miles Davis’ electric period output. This otherworldly canvas provides Pierce with the perfect canvas on which to cast his kaleidoscopic concept.

The premise, as stated, is deceptively simple; being a sonic expression of the human condition. He divides the narrative of the record into three discernible parts which appear semi-disjointed on paper, but work extraordinarily well in the context of the album. The first leg of the record is exposition, beginning with the scene setting of the album’s title track, then going on to narrow its focus to the unity of mankind and ultimately that of two young lovers. The budding through ultimate demise of the relationship is outlined in the following eight tracks, utilizing the expansive aforementioned sound of space rock to illustrate both the euphoric highs and desolate lows of the romance.

Finally, the album closing ‘Cop Shoot Cop…’ effectively casts most of what has come to be expected of the preceding eleven songs. If the title track of ‘Ladies and Gentleman..’ was created to tell you that you are in fact floating in space, the record’s finale was brought into existence to show you exactly what it feels like to gaze into the incomprehensible depths of space. I often listen to this track with my eyes closed and try to internally visualize what it is I’m actually hearing, but my mental bandwidth usually reaches capacity a little bit after the ten minute mark; after that I need to take a step outside of myself and just watch it fill the space where my consciousness used to be. (Did I mention Dr. John plays piano on this track?)

So why should you listen to this album? Well, if nothing I’ve described so far sounds at least a bit appealing, then maybe this isn’t the one for you. However, I am compelled to tell you that this album is a suitable medication for a myriad of different afflictions (which are listed out on an album insert made to look like a prescription… which I have lost somewhere in my room). Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is at times an out-of-body experience, at others is an out-of-this-world one (quite literally); though at its most basic description, it’s at least a commendable way to spend an hour of your life.

-DJ Straight Edge


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Category: Reviews