Ghosty a lukewarm choice
Grow Up or Sleep In
Future Farmer Recordings
For fans of: Death Cab for Cutie, ELO
Final word: Tends to follow the latter of its demands.
Tracks to download: “Henry Greene,” “Clouds Solve It”
The Lawrence, Kan. quintet Ghosty have released their first full-length album, “Grow Up or Sleep In,” with mixed results. After first recording the album in 2003 with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Cursive), the album is finally seeing the light of day despite departures from the band in the interim. “Grow Up or Sleep In” has more going for it than just a cute name, with a light pop-rocky sound that is very agreeable; however, the album has very few tracks of any import and is just a bit on the bland side.
Instrumentally, the musicians show that they are at least capable, if not terribly interesting. The guitars do a good job of backing up the lead singer, Andrew Connor, but end up sounding sort of languish in the background. The bass, as happens with most bands, does a fine job of keeping a nice little background but given how little it winds up affecting Ghosty, there would be no noticeable difference if it were to be absent. The drums are a welcome change in that they play a significant role while avoiding being overbearing, allowing the keyboards and vocals to have a chance to shine. As with a lot of indie bands these days, the keyboards play a key role in the album, taking a larger share of the spotlight than the guitars do.
The instrument that really gets the most time in the forefront is Connor’s vocals, which is fine if only to convey the lightly angst-spattered lyrics. As with the rest of the band, his voice is fine, if a little bland.
The songs on “Grow Up or Sleep In” are well-crafted, but suffer from a few too many tempo changes for their own good. If I wanted odd tempo changes I would listen to some math rock, but it’s not what I want or expect in an indie pop-rock release. “Grow Up or Sleep In” is an album that is good enough, especially for those looking for something new, if not particularly great in any way.
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