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John Grant
Pale Green Ghosts - PARTISAN
FILTER Grade: 77%

By Kyle MacKinnel on May 16, 2013

 

John Grant

In essence, core songwriting can rightly elevate a record, with an equal power to decimate. Pale Green Ghosts, the second solo album by John Grant (formerly of The Czars) is an interesting case study in that it’s the type of hit-or-miss record experiencing gentrification, with prime architecture neighboring decrepit lots-by-default. Ultimately, the filet of the block facilitates the ’hood’s population, but it’s a shame that Grant wasn’t more meticulous in his tracklist editing. The star here is clearly the creator’s voice, suitably palatable to represent a name like John Grant, but possessed of a healthy ego. The supporting cast pits synth-fueled backdrops against piano ballads. All is quite slick. It’s a touch proggy and bitter, but not without the piquancy of sauerkraut. These songs are also deeply personal ones, in the vein of Grant’s 2010 solo debut, Queen of Denmark. Ultimately, the record begs your attention as an example of a consummate songsmith at work. 

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