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15/01/2012 Eskimo Joe - Ghosts Of The Past Review
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|Eskimo Joe - Ghosts Of The Past Review|
|15-01-2012 09:43 | 0 comment(s)|
| Eskimo Joe have pretty much been through it all when it comes to the familiar paths that Aussie bands take. Starting out as being predominantly indie with their debut album Girl, maturing on A Song is a City. Which is home to From the Sea, arguably still their best song. Then came Black Fingernails, Red Wine, the bands breakout album which catapulted them into mainstream recognition. At this time, they became one of Australia's most loved and successful bands. The common route, to try to break into the American market followed and unsurprisingly failed. Four years later the band released Inshalla, a some-what experimental record for the band. With the help of a healthy reputation and on the back of the success of single Foreign Land, the album quickly went to No.1 on the charts like its predecessor. But there is no doubt that Inshalla felt like a step back for the band, they quickly fell into irrelevancy as the album failed to produce any more 'hits'. You could say that a lot hinges on the success of this record, maybe not commercially but definitely critically. Does Ghosts of the Past have the power to keep you interested in the band?
The answer is probably no. This album is trademark Eskimo Joe, and this could be a good thing, if the songs were great, rather than sink into mediocrity as some do. There are definitely some good songs on this record, surely there will be fans that eat it up, it's easy to listen too and Temperley has a unique voice. But the general feeling of Ghosts of the Past is that this sounds far too familiar with what we've heard from the band in the past. Not to dismiss the whole record, there are some great songs that need to be noted. When We Were Kids is the obvious standout. Lyrically nostalgic, the beat is catchy, "When were kids, we never looked down, thrown off the edge, well never do it now, do you remember?" The title track is frantically paced and with a meaner sound the chorus is easy to be hooked onto. "And now your never alone, never alone", Itch has an effective violin arrangement which helps make the track that much more special. "Spent a lot of years just running, just wondering how I'm gonna find the money". Just Don't Feel is a beautiful acoustic number while Sky's on Fire ends the album with a slight dramatic touch.
The remaining songs on the album aren't necessarily bad, you may even like them. But there is no doubting they fall into the mediocre category. Gave it All Away leaves much to be desired as an opener, just as Echo falls short with a lame chorus. "Fight like a flame in the night till your heart's all tired", Lead single Love is a Drug is overly repetitive and has the ability to easily irritate. And the other songs, their only fault is being average fillers with nothing overly special to add to the listening experience.
If Eskimo Joe hadn't already made an album like this before, than I wouldn't probably be so negative. Some listeners may have wanted a change, but the true fans of the band will no doubt be happy with what Ghosts of the Past offers. The album may not have any commercially successful singles and the band may not be raved about. But given they've done it all before, you'd think they might feel content, in not really caring about what the masses think anymore.
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