By Captain Wilberforce
Sometimes writing a review is easy and sometimes it's hard. Music is a very emotional thing to react to and as a reviewer it can be difficult to wrestle with how to provide a valid critique.
The Ghost Written Confessions is without a doubt a well conceived and executed pure pop album with a variety of styles and unusual instrumentation on display.
A songs like "Get Hurt" with its Beatles' style arrangement and McCartney melody help to bring out Simon Bristoll's sweet pop vocal delivery. I can find no fault with the sentiments behind the "The Day Your Mouth Stood Still", which is one of the more eloquent of the lyrical efforts here, with an almost self-mocking tone. In places I'm reminded of some of the more classic melodic indie bands of the nineties such as Mega City Four and Jellyfish which can surely only be a good thing.
So why the wrestle you ask?
I suppose the one of the issues is stickability or hookiness, with the exception of the aforementioned "Get Hurt" I found it hard to hold on to any of the songs.
I like my music fairly bare and sometimes it felt like the production on the album as a whole was a little too heavy handed for my own tastes, where others may feel that it is exactly what is required.
Lyrics are an incredibly personal thing for a songwriter but I felt that at times I wasn't hearing enough of this reflected, especially in songs like "Los Angeles" or "She's my Kryptonite", where cleverness seemed to outweigh sincerity.
Overall a fair album with some minor flaws, for those who like their pop straight ahead, there will be many rewards to be had.