Artist: Ghost & Writer
CD title: Shipwrecks
Reviewer: DJ Kantrip
Shipwrecks is the much anticipated debut release from Ghost & Writer, brainchild of The Weatherman’s Jimmyjoe Snark III, and Frank Spinath of Seabound and Edge of Dawn. Unlike the duo's previous projects, Ghost and Writer combines a love of Noir, and romanticism to create unique musical cinema experience. The album plays like a group of short stories each with different characters and outlooks on life with appropriately matching music, while keeping to a common dark but dancy undercurrent.
While Spinath's lyrics have always been full of bittersweet romanticism there was the slight glimmer of hope or understanding behind the feelings of betrayal in his voice. Especially with his work in Seabound. On Shipwrecks that glimmer is gone. The protagonists of these stories display a cynical tone as if they are angry at their own foolishness. The vocals still relay some intention that the hero/heroine is hopeful but ultimately aware that their efforts are futile, but why stop now when trying is all he/she has ever done. This desperation is best displayed on the opening track, From Hell as the lyrics speak of a broken heart reaching out to a loved one that reassures they are alive even if they are suffering and ultimately, ignored.
Shipwrecks musical composition has a very cinematic approach to it. With previous projects like Seabound and Edge of Dawn it felt as if the lyrics contrasted with upbeat tempo or hard beat. A lot of the subtlety was lost. Snark's approach to this album was to ignore the current trends in electronic music, and use elements of earlier styles of Electronica to create a musical world that suited the lyrics perfectly. Capsized has a rather jazzy trip-hop lounge feel to it while, Nightshift becomes ethereal and relaxing. Moods suitable to the the thoughts and dreams being conveyed in each of the songs. Fraud has a traditional EBM sound with fast frantic synths and a driving dance beat, however it suits the manic emotions that fit the charade that the song's character is weaving. The lyrics tell very detailed stories but the music builds the worlds for these characters and ultimate help to bring the listener into this brief cinemas.
In summary Shipwrecks is a must own for fans of Seabound, and Edge of Dawn. Don't expect another Beyond Flatline though. Shipwrecks shuns the current trends in electronic music and delivers an album of what can only be described as Electo-Noir. Perfectly told stories with intelligent beats that sometimes make you want to dance, or just lose yourself in the story. This reviewer really hope that this album is not a one time thing and Ghost & Writer will deliver another set of tales to share with their eager audience.
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