In his first post for Sampleface, RKZ reviews Ghostpoet’s Some Say I So I Say Light.
So I Say, right… where to begin? I’ve never been one for birthday wish lists. That was, up until this year. 2013 saw the release of a new Ghostpoet record, “Some Say I So I Say Light”. As far as moments in history go, this is officially the first album I’ve reviewed for Sampleface, and how intriguing an album it was.
Note: this is actually my first review, ever. I half expected trumpets to be playing for this occasion. Or at least a Dilla tribute act spinning some instrumentals. No? Synths? Anything? Man..
I sat with the CD for an entire week before listening to it in one fell swoop. It wouldn’t be right to dedicate broken segments of time to a body of work that demands our very-much dwindling attention. After being obsessed with the Ghostpoet records of old (“Cash & Carry Me Home”, “Island” – okay, so the latter isn’t that old), I wanted to see how this album would fair on the monotonous and bluesy London Underground journeys… you know, those post-9pm ones. Think Lost In Translation, but in London (and, you’re probably never going to be as cool as Bill Murray).
The one thing I’ve always wondered about Ghostpoet is the level of layers underneath his mellow delivery and lyrical content. With ‘poet (I’ve officially allowed myself to call him ‘poet, FYI) you can’t help but ask yourself if there’s hidden metaphorical gold behind the obscure lyrics, or if he’s really just that random. I believe it’s the former; for instance, in “Dial Tones”, his lazy baritone mumbles out the lyric, “bitter like old tea, and unloved Grandmas, and opened up a jam jar, of past pain narratives.” See what I mean? That being said, I also believe Shakespeare probably didn’t mean half of the sh*t teachers claimed he meant (or maybe that’s just my inner child still despising GSCE English Literature). The spritely journey turns into one of those ones you can’t recollect having once you step out, off of the carriage – particularly due to Lucy Rose’s haunting voice. ‘Poet states: “her speaking voice is almost identical to her singing voice!” Imagine the pillow talk.
Ghostpoet incorporates off-tempo, electronic elements to an individual, raw hip hop tone. There’s really no one that sounds like him. Melancholic, extended instrumentals play out after ‘poet says his piece on several records, and it really does zone you out (listening to “Meltdown” on public transport made me feel like an extra in the music video).
The Richard Formby production sounds conceptual, and it’s definitely not an album you can have on, whenever – it plays to an emotional state, summed up perfectly by the final record, “Comatose”. It expresses a feeling of depression, and being at your lowest – anyone that has been through this would almost certainly agree. A somewhat hopeless Ghostpoet accepts defeat, “I feel lower than I’ve ever been. I feel if I fell off a cliff I wouldn’t feel no pain.” Everyone that has dealt with some form of depression, loneliness, isolation, what have you, needs that one record to almost fuel self-pity: a musical equivalent of someone understanding exactly how you feel, even when you can’t explain it.