Devin Townsend (band) - Ghost
It always comes as a surprise when any musician is able to 180 on their niche genre and spread his/her chops a bit on unfamiliar territory. Prime examples are rare but this only lends itself to how blatantly awe-inspiring it can be to witness. Of course, a fanhood bordering on fanaticism never hurts in the process. After extended listens to Ghost, the fourth and final album in the Devin Townsend Project series, I must say I am quite surprised. And most pleasantly so.
Stripped down but still a monster in terms of production value, the album encompases a broad spectrum of ambience, tranquility, introspection, charm and soul. One will not find any of the more common aspects of Devin's music; not a scream or a shredding guitar solo to be found on Ghost. Instead, we're treated to songs that seem to conjure images similar to the album cover; serene beaches, quiet skies, heavenly peace. While Devin has dabbled in these moods from time to time in the past, never has he truly embraced an album's worth of such material. And never in such an empassioned and inspired manner. The album blends together in such a way as to make a track-by-track just slightly ineffective. You'll find much to love throughout; opener "Fly" has a country twang that resonates throughout much of the disc,"Heart Baby" is a soulful eclipse of atmosphere and ambience, "Feather" comes to life quickly and is very much structured more as a true "song" in terms of it's evolution, and it comes to a long, slow and gentle stop. "Kawaii" is a heart-felt ballad, touching and full of tasteful acoustic guitar. The title track is flat-out beautiful, a simple melody with soft percussion driving it forward, and beautiful duet vocals between Townsend and guest vocalist Katrina Natale. "Blackberry" introduces us to Devin behind a banjo, and he manages to get some nice, mellow moods out of it. The rest of the album offers plenty more, and should be experienced in a quiet, undistracted manner to fully appreciate.
While this brand of new-age, ambient sound is nowhere near my realm of typical listening, I cannot help but be further intrigued by the style after hearing Townsend breathe so much life and inspiration into Ghost. It's an album that can be enjoyed by anyone, I feel, during life's calmer, more serene moments. A day on the beach, a night by the stars, isolated or amongst loved ones. It is far from anything Devin has done before, but not far at all from living up to his standard for creative excellence.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.