Ghostpoet - 'Shedding Skin'

by AdamTait
AdamTait
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on 09 March 2015 in Albums & EPs
Record Label PIAS
Rating 8/10

Everything about Ghostpoet marks him out as among the shrewdest observers of the human condition. It seems a day-to-day life spent trying to unravel the stories behind people is largely what drives Obaro Ejimiwe. Be it his own stories, those of loved ones or the stories of strangers. The first two lines of opening track and lead single ‘Off Peak Dreams’, a consideration of homelessness, make that much clear. “Basically, I have seen/Signs and wonders up in that cafe.” Ghostpoet seems bluntly dedicated to his storytelling. ‘Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me’ sees Ejimiwe explaining to a ‘forgettable’ significant she simply doesn’t make a strong enough impression. Although a recognisable situation, the lyricist’s frankness of expression is startling. Musically Shedding Skin is far more accessible than its predecessor, 2013’s Some Say I So I Say Light. That record, Ejimiwe recently admitted, was undeniably depressing. Where that album was riddle with knotty electro sounds and bleak empty space, Shedding Skin is full of guitar hooks and piano melodies. Granted there's still plenty of instances of melancholy (the crumbling relationship of 'Yes, I Helped You Pack'), but there’s something reluctantly hopeful about this album (see ‘Be Right Back, Moving House’). And there’s something addictive about that. And cathartic. And reassuring.

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