Huh? The album art for British singer-songwriter J. Spaceman's newest album Sweet Heart Sweet Light dons a white background, the outline of a stop sign, and the phrase "Huh?" It's an interesting icon, especially for a man who has made his life's work dodging media and disrupting critics, all the while releasing some of the most cherished music of the past few decades. Is it meant to confuse listeners? Should it signify a new direction for the band? More likely, it's Spaceman's subtle shrug of indifference to every listener.

But sadly, the album's cover is the most interesting word or phrase used throughout the entirety of Sweet Heart Sweet Light. Lyrically, the album is a huge step back for J. Spaceman, otherwise known as Jason Pierce. Spiritualized's lyrics have always been immediate at best, but there was a more heartfelt nature about them on past records. When Pierce sings, "I used up all my affection," and "I lost all of my direction," on "Get What You Deserve," the execution is far from effective, and the character in the song is Pierce personified. Maybe you're piqued by sentiments like "Love lights the flames when there's hearts it can burn," but on most of Sweet Heart Sweet Light, the messages are trite and over-simplified. And maybe taking lyrics out of context to make Pierce sound like a lazy songwriter is over-simplifying the issue, but one spin through the record, and it becomes blatantly obvious that brains behind Spiritualized was grasping at straws for subject matter.

 

Here's a peek into what's coming up at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival. You can buy all tickets at www.siff.net. Pinoy Sunday (2010) Taiwan, Directed by Wi Ding Ho It’s The Puffy Chair but in Taiwan. Which makes it better than The Puffy Chair. But not by...

Ocean State is Ted Ryan's newest film, following New Yorker, Tim, as he attempts to conquer his phobia of the ocean. To better his chances of following through with his plan, Tim travels to Rhode Island, a place surrounded by the ocean. There, he begins...

[caption id="attachment_614" align="aligncenter" width="419" caption="From http://orionsaint.tumblr.com/"][/caption] Make no bones about it, TRON: Legacy is not a good film. It’s not even that entertaining of a movie. But it’s hard to pinpoint just exactly why there’s such disappointment with this franchise cash-in. There have been worse, less...

I have nothing against Cappadonna. I respect his skills as an emcee and consider him a real part of the Wu-Tang Clan. Even though Wikipedia calls him a quasi-member. Even though he was in prison when they signed. Even though he doesn't really contribute anything...

Sally Tomato's rock opera, Toy Room, arrived with a cover that boasted of four acts and ten accumulated laurels from the 2009 festival circuit. I pretty much always watch rock operas with hesitation, for their qualities are largely determined by the quality of their music....

And so another year's Seattle International Film Festival comes to a close. You might be saying "Hey! You only watched like eight movies? What kind of publication is this?!" Tut tut, readers. We here at Redefine watched a boat load of movies! We just...

Director: Teddy Chen Hong Kong, 2009 Bodyguards and Assassins is a long film. Too long. It's about 45 minutes too long. It's also overwrought. There's a lot of grown men crying about pride and integrity. Things that matter to a lot of people, but not stuff we...

Director: Jo Baier Cast: Julien Boisselier, Joachim Krol, Hannelore Hoger, Ulrich Noethen, Armelle Deutsch, Chloé Stefani, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Roger Casamajor, Sven Pippig, Sandra Huller Country: Germany Year: 2009 Henry Of Navarre is a historical dramatization that attempts to document the period of Henry IV's ascension to the throne and the religious wars which preceeded it. But despite the film's loftiest intentions, a weak script and an even weaker crew burden it to the point of no recovery. All of the characters in the film are just that -- characters -- and they fulfill their general beings with mind-blowing one-dimensionality. Take, for instance, Henry Of Navarre (Henry IV) himself. While generally loved throughout his reign, Henry is shown in the film as completely without fault -- a point that is accentuated by the fact that he is surrounded by a slew of ridiculously worthless characters. Those characters include Catherine de Medici, mother of the three kings prior to Henry IV. She is known in history for her ruthlessnesss, but the only quality she possesses in the film is cruelty; she might as well have been Cruella de Vil, with less style. Her youngest son, Henry III, is probably the most complex character in the film, and even he is a caricature of a helpless homosexual king who keeps eccentric company. But it's obvious that character development means little, since new characters spring up inconsequentially and main characters die off without warning. Their deaths are alluded to but never shown (not that viewers are saved from their breathily expelled "last words," however).

Barstool Cowboy begins with a man donning a cowboy hat, drinking a beer, sighing, and smoking a cigarette. He stares into the camera for a good few minutes while interchanging between all of those activities before he starts speaking. And from that initial scene on,...