Spiritualized

Smile/Sway

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In hindsight, it's somewhat surprising to realize that three of Spiritualized's first four singles are covers -- "Anyway That You Want Me" was popularized by the Troggs and "Run" fused J.J. Cale's "They Call Me the Breeze" with the chorus of the Velvet Underground's "Run Run Run." For the Smile/Sway 12", Jason Pierce resurrected an early, pre-Velvet Underground Lou Reed/John Cale collaboration, "Why Don't You Smile Now," and it's here that the embryonic Spiritualized achieved critical mass. A simple yet heartbreakingly sad pop song wrought large and epic, its multi-tracked vocals soar like a junkie choir, its guitars glisten with the light of the divine, and William Carruthers' bass bubbles like crude oil rising up from the earth. "Sway," reprised as the penultimate cut on Lazer Guided Melodies, is no less majestic. They say in space no one can hear you scream, but Pierce's vocals seem to originate from the dark side of the moon.