There aren't too many albums that manage to take in gospel, space-rock, blues, the alt.est of alt. country and (briefly) the diggeri-doo - here's one of them. 'You only get a lifetime to try' sings Jason Pierce - and boy, is he going to try everything.
The album opens with the growled vocals and feeback of 'This Little Life Of Mine' and swiftly flows into 'She Kissed Me And It Felt Like A Hit' - the standout track on this album that just begs to be jumped up and down and thrashed around to: you get to come down later, this is where you're coming up and, if there's any doubt of this, the lyrics ('gonna shoot it up and take it down') make it abundantly clear.
No surprises there then - and lyrically its fair to say that this is what you might expect from Spiritualized. The usual themes are present - nihilism tempered with idealism; the talk about holding on, and the intentions of letting go; the desire to transcend earthly pleasures, balanced by the longing for a good fuck. If this can all get a little maudlin at times, that tendency is redeemed by occasional wit, attempts to find a happy place ('I can't promise a miracle but I'll always be trying') and the fact that it all sounds so damn good.
Spiritualized create a wall of sound, and utlise it to fantastic effect, overwhelming you with noise one minute, and then suddenly pulling everything away from you, leaving you with a silence which reverberates with the anticipation of the explosion to come. Some songs build up slowly, teasingly and drop away, leaving you dangling. Other songs feel like four-minute crescendos, pulling you along in their wake.
If it all sounds rather inconsistent, it thankfully ties together rather well. The blend of musical styles never leans too far in one direction and at its best there are echoes of The Byrds circa 'Eight Miles High'; The Velvet Underground and, at one point, Ravi Shankar.
My only major gripe with this album is that it isn't long enough. Many of the songs pull you in, take you to that special place, and then pull away while you're still there. If parts of the album feel like they're building to orgasm, others feel a little too much like real sex: you want to experience a slow build-up or to bask in the after-glow but suddenly its all already over.
But you're left wanting more. And when you're left wanting more... well, perhaps you can only follow the advice the band handed out on an earlier album: 'Come back down, and do it all over again'.
All over again? Hell, why not? It was fun, after all. Exciting, adrenaline-fuelled, and just a little bit dirty - the way the best sort of experiences so often are.