Exhaustive trawl through Pierce's archives

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Spiritualized – The Complete Works Volume Two

A notoriously fastidious musician, Jason Pierce has turned out to be just as thorough a curator. Volume Two compiles his band’s various singles, B-sides and rarities from 1995 till 2002, as Pierce’s musical vision became more expansive, better funded and, briefly, commercially successful. Unlike Volume One, unavailable songs are in short supply, so instead this showcases Pierce’s way with a finite number of tunes, endlessly adjusting them for instrumental versions, live takes and radio edits. As such, non-obsessives may find these two CDs a tad repetitive, and critics of the undervalued Let It Come Down should approach Disc Two warily. But there remains a glut of beautiful music here, not least meticulously orchestrated instrumentals like “Broken Heart”, where Pierce’s Nymanesque gift for combining minimalism and the romantic comes to the fore. Devotees will note, too, a certain Stalinist editing involved in these Complete Works: The Chemical Brothers’ pass