Sunday, January 18, 2009

Album review

The Black Ghosts
The Black Ghosts
(Universal Republic)
Grade: B

A few months back, the soundtrack to vampire flick “Twilight” entered the Billboard charts at No. 1 and went platinum. The Black Ghosts’ haunting, exotic song “Full Moon” was among the movie’s coveted music slots. If there’s any justice, success will also rub off on the British electronica duo’s impressive self-titled debut.

Former Simian singer Simon Lord and DJ Theo Keating (also known as Touche of The Wiseguys) met via the internet and began collaborating on original music and remixes. Lord’s sleek vocals here recall Roddy Frame of defunct folk/pop band Aztec Camera. The pair has called the album a bunch of “slightly psychotic torch songs.” There’s definitely a tension-filled buildup on trip hop-leaning album opener “Some Way Through This,” thanks to some orchestral flourishes (think early Portishead or Mono).

The zooming electronica of “Any Way You Choose to Give It” could give the Chemical Brothers a run for the money. Other standouts include “Full Moon,” moody Big Beat-styled “Until it Comes Again” (dig the obscure David Holland sample and Gregorian chants), the hi-NRG intensity on “Face” and slinky “Repetition Kills You,” which sounds like a cross between Zapp and Dandy Warhols, with New Wave synths and laid back guest vocals by Gorillaz/Blur main man Damon Albarn.

No comments: