Ghost is the first and only album by the band Radical Face, a musical act from Ben Cooper. The album was released in March 2007 but has recently gained popularity from the track ‘Welcome Home, Son’ which is currently on a TV advertisement by Nixon, also sponsoring Hollyoaks.
The album opens with a two-minute introduction of acoustic guitars and subtle keyboard notes from ‘Asleep on a Train’ as it flows soothingly into ‘Welcome Home, Son‘.
Listening to the album for the first time, this is the way you would imagine the album to start (or at least if you were buying it after hearing the Nixon advert). The song familiarises you with the reason for purchasing the album, satisfying your expectations in the first five minutes.
But the album doesn’t do so well after this; ‘Let the River In’ has a much duller melody dragging on into six minutes of ‘Glory’.
The same dullness can be said for ‘The Strangest Things’, although it picks up over halfway through with a more optimistic pitch and melodic background.
This carries on into ‘Wrapped in Piano Strings’; not only a clever song title but a song close in brilliance to ‘Welcome Home, Son’ with its upbeat acoustics (It’s just a shame about the disturbance in between).
‘Along The Road’ highlights Cooper’s calm, folky vocals but is again rudely interrupted by the pessimistic ‘Haunted’. Less of a song and more ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin’; a dreary sound lurking over your head, but a beautiful ending of an orchestra of violins.
There can’t be much more said for ‘Winter is Coming’ and ‘Sleepwalking’. As with most of the album, the songs start off by making you want to press skip, but they nearly always have a catchy chorus or symphonic ending. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship with this album but, unfortunately, the balance is tipping in the wrong direction.
‘Homesick’ attempts a cheery ending, but by now you just want to go back to ‘Welcome Home, Son’ and stick it on repeat to make this all seem a little more worthwhile.
Apart from a minority of songs, the album is depressing and boring. Though this is not always a bad thing, it is one for listening to whilst lying in bed with an empty mind and not much else.