The Brown and Fuzzy Ascent of Spiritualized

Revisiting the rock 'n' roll grandeur of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

As the years have gone by, we've seen the ill-fated dissolving—and uninspired reuniting—of Blur, Oasis, and the Verve. Revisiting those back catalogs, you start to see why Gentlemen made such a lasting impression: The bombastic, over-the-top, bigger-than-thou self-aggrandizing of '90s Britpop simply isn't there. Instead, the record is insular and spiritual and self-contained while still sounding sprawling and enormous, with Pierce himself reaching far beyond the grasp of his peers, meaning Albert Ayler and New York noise band Machine Gun had more influence on him than anything the Beatles might've done. "In a weird way, I think rock 'n' roll is dying," he says. "It's going to become 1920s flapper music, where it's going to get lost in this time, and people are going to look back and say, 'Hey, that's rock 'n' roll. And a lot of the information's there, but it's this intangible thing. It's brown and fuzzy and hard to hold onto."

Spiritualized perform Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space at Radio City Music Hall July 30

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