Radical Face - Ghost
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Radical Face

Ben Cooper is a young musician who is also one half of the group Electric President (who put out their self titled album last year on Morr Records. Radical Face is the new solo project from Cooper, and it some things in common with his other group while moving in a slightly more band-like direction, with more guitars and live instrumentation including drums and a slew of other elements.

The slightly nasal vocals of Cooper are back as well, so if that was something that turned you away from Electric President, it will probably irritate here as well. The album opens strongly, with a short instrumental before the clicky beats and light acoustic guitar push "Welcome Home" forward with some soaring harmony choruses and some nice piano work. "Let The River In" starts out with a field recording (that returns to the song during several parts), and features banjo, some live drumming, piano, and synth strings that all come together for a louder closing section.

Although it starts out a bit on the weepy side, "Wrapped In Piano Strings" turns into one of the best songs on the release. Building with quiet acoustic guitar, vocals, and piano (obviously), some clattering percussion enters towards the end and helps put a punctuation on it. Elsewhere, "Glory" stumbles a bit, stretching out familiar sounds over six minutes and losing a bit of momentum in the process.

Towards the latter third of the release Ghost slows down a great deal and ditches a lot of the more dynamic programming in favor of music that at its best is grandiose and moving while at its worst is somewhat overly sentimental and less engaging. Like the Electric President release, the production of the album is amazing, with lots of little flourishes and crystal-clear recordings that make it worth hearing on headphones. If you don't mind your pop music being a bit on the sappy side, it might be just what you're looking for.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2007-04-05 21:00:25