by Chris Familton
John Grant first came to prominence as the singer of The Czars around the turn of the century before returning with his highly regarded solo LP Queen of Denmark in 2010. Fans of that record will find some songs here that fit the same template as his solo debut but they may also be surprised by the heavy streak of retro electronica that characterises much of Pale Green Ghosts.
The diversity of sound covers both middle ground and extremes with the opening title track strongly reminiscent of Depeche Mode, bursting with techno rhythms and squelching synths. In its finest moments Grant and Icelandic producer Birgir Porarinsson (of Gus Gus) create some wonderful austere and eloquent synth pop but they would have been best served giving all the songs the same electronic treatment rather than switching to and fro with Grant’s more familiar 70s baroque pop personae. When they harness cold and stately synthesizers they create some great moments like the Sinead O’Connor backed It Doesn’t Matter to Him and Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore but in general the highlights are too infrequent and lack cohesiveness to improve on Grants first solo album.
this review was first published on FasterLouder