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Pale Green Ghosts

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Album Review

The title track from the ex Czars' frontman's second solo outing, the chilly, electro-kissed Pale Green Ghosts, sounds like a Brendan Perry (of Dead Can Dance)-fronted Kraftwerk taking on a James Bond theme. Like much of the album, it's icy, stylish, pompous, and self-obsessed, which is the direct antithesis, at least sonically, of his previous album, the maudlin, confessional Queen of Denmark, which was made with the help of wistful Texas folk-rockers Midlake. Pale Green Ghosts, on the other hand, was recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland with the help of GusGus' Birgir Þórarinsson (Biggi Veira) and while Grant keeps the microscope firmly on himself throughout the 11-track set, he does so with more wit and panache than he did on the record's predecessor. Populated by slinky electro-pop cuts ("Sensitive New Age Guy" and "Black Belt"), saucy, Harry Nilsson-esque, chamber pop fight songs (the saucy "GMF," one of two tracks to feature backing vocals from Sinéad O'Connor), and melodramatic "Return to Oz"-era, Scissor Sisters-inspired ballads ("Vietnam," "I Hate This Town," and "Glacier"), Pale Green Ghosts has a little something for everyone, and while all of the over-sharing can be a little overbearing, Grant's huge, expressive, and oddly comforting voice acts as a sedative, turning even the saddest, raunchiest, and most uncomfortable turn of phrase into a caress.

Customer Reviews

Heard " gmf" on letterman -love him!

I heard him on " late night-Letterman" was very intrigued! Came to download the " gmf" song- & amazed at the lyrics- I'm no " expert" on music but I know what I like, not often do I go straight to iTunes to download !( in fact this is the first time) I really like his lyrics, the music is soothing!

I love this man!

I originally heard of John Grant from the movie weekend, and the song Marz. I love Marz. This album is just as good if not better. Very raw(that's kind of his thing anyway) emoting. Frank wording that breaks down your walls and demands to be heard. I love it.

Well-crafted Angry, Edgy, and Aching Songs...

with catchy beats and beautiful melodies. But don't OD on these tracks if you're feeling blue after a breakup. Easier to handle John Grant's work sober and on happy grounds. That said, this album ranks in my top 20 best for 2013.


Born: 1968 in Buchanan, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

John Grant began his career as frontman of the Czars, a Colorado-based band whose music split the difference between shoegaze, dream pop, and alternative country. Fueled by Grant's songwriting and rich baritone vocals, the band released a pair of independent albums in the '90s before signing with Bella Union, a British label run by two former members of the Cocteau Twins. The Czars established a small international audience during the new millennium, but albums like Before...But Longer and The Ugly...
Full Bio
Pale Green Ghosts, John Grant
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Rock
  • Released: May 14, 2013
  • Parental Advisory

Customer Ratings