The Ghost of Brooklyn has finally released his first full-length studio album, entitled “I Am The Ghost of Brooklyn.” This highly anticipated recording has been a very, very, long time in the making, considering that The Ghost of Brooklyn was born in or around 1881. Likened to the lo-fi heroes of the1950s, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers and Johnny Cash, The Ghost of Brooklyn records live in a single take.
This latest 16-track initiative was recorded on cassette tape in a mausoleum at Green-Wood Cemetery. This friendly musical ghost, who travels light with just a guitar, a few microphones and some pedals, claims to have been the most enduring indie artist in the underground scene; “I was under-the-ground for 300 years,” confirms The Ghost of Brooklyn.
With his latest release, The Ghost of Brooklyn has cut an album that rocks with the biting wit that has been his trademark for the past 300 years. It’s a welcome addition to his catalogue of one-off singles, and it’s a real fun album to listen to. It’s also a welcome relief from the over-produced, mainstream pop chart releases that have occupied our time over the last few years. It is yet another unpredictable turn from an artist who has already proved that he is not going to be pigeonholed as just another “retro-rocker.”
The Ghost of Brooklyn is at his best on a number of tunes on this album. “Strike Zone”, like most of the other tracks, has some blistering guitar work, and is probably the catchiest song of the bunch. “Young Man” has some deep, ominous sonic textures and harmonies at work, much like “One Love”. There is great use of vocal harmony effects on a number of tracks; particularly endearing are “Emily”, “Beautiful Day” and “Simple Soul”.
“The Great I Am” is my personal favorite track on the album. Its slow burning rhythm is not something you’d expect from The Ghost of Brooklyn, but then again, his introduction of the unexpected generally makes for the best tunes on his projects.
Out on Flexible Manikin Recordings, the album, “I Am The Ghost of Brooklyn” is dark and funny, playful and apocalyptic, like a mix of Dylan songs thrown in a stew with a pot full of 1950 musical icons and some lo-fi pop tunes. It is the kind of album that is so good you can’t help but hunger for what The Ghost of Brooklyn is going to do next, be it pop, punk or country.
But until that next one comes along, there is so much to enjoy here. Turn off the lights, turn up the volume, and howl at the moon…The Ghost of Brooklyn is back, between the graveyard and YouTube!