Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Ghostly Beard "Inward"

We’ve heard of the phrase “re-invent the wheel” right?  Well, what that basically means is making an exact model of something that has already been mastered by someone and has been in existence for some time.  

So, let’s use this phrase metaphorically for music’s sake – okay? 

Now think of this:  how many songs in mainstream commercial radio rotation (and streaming services) have the same hooks, command to the beat, and topics?  Many, right?  Well, isn’t it like they are trying to re-invent the wheel?  I mean, Honestly, they should give it up because they never quite get it right.  Right? 

History and modern day mainstream music has taught us that one cannot re-invent the wheel – it’s shape or its purpose, but one CAN improve it!  Still, how many artists can attempt this refining technique and REALLY come out in the end with a fresh take or mastered effect?  Not many! 

Ghostly Beard (Patrick Talbot) is such an artist who has redefined music but has stayed true to his sound and style.  And like wine, he just keeps on getting better and better and better …. 

As an artist who knows HOW TO acclimatize his work, his sound is mastered; his technique has been perfected; and, his musical identity is etched and enjoyed – this is featured on “Inward” his newest album. 

 Ten songs grace the binding of this collection: 

1) How Does It Feel

2) The Love in Your Eyes

3) Gone

4) Autumn Blues

5) Night Train

6) Let Go

7) It Doesn’t Matter

8) 9 to 5 (Barely Alive)

9) Let it Rain

10) Going Away 

The six featured in this review dominantly display the artist’s interior – this is my interpretation. 

The album opens with a question in the form of a song – a wonderful technique that engages the listener’s ears and mind instantly!  “How Does It Feel” has a relatively straightforward arrangement with the artist’s vocals and warm musical accompaniment:  an organ, percussions and guitars.  The lyrics express the reality of feeling lost within humanity and poses a general question:  when you're out there in the streets and no one sees you stumbling on your feet / when you're bleeding off the walls and your beating heart is out of control / how does it feel? / to be less than real... how does it feel?  And even though this song is easy listening, Ghostly Beard once again wakes up your senses with his soul wrenching guitar skills.  I think “How Does It Feel” is set to become a popular song on AC radio with its easy like honey vocal execution and rhythms. 

The Love in Your Eyes” is the second track and sets the stage for an emotional, yet non-daunting, track.  This is easily one of my favorites from “Inward.”  The best way to site the artistry of this rich track is for you to read my review of this track here.

The fourth track just lies there in between its 9 accompanying tracks and just simmers – it’s called “Autumn Blues.”  This instrumental piece of Jazz/Blues starts with a bluesy guitar just whining a melody that threads the entire track.  This is pure Music Row from Canada that reflects the depth of Ghostly Beard’s composing talent and skills.  Within the hook, the dual guitar chords/riffs descend to make an excellent emotional rollercoaster of evenness and balance that just plucks at your romantic strings.  Its guitar licks crawl along and makes a delightful melody of hills and valleys adding such texture like George Benson’s “Masquerade.”  This is the Gin and smoky room song of the collection and I love it!!  It is stirring, sexy, and sumptuous all rolled up in three minutes and ten seconds. 

Following “Autumn Blues” is “Night Train” a surreal track featuring guest vocalist Emma Caiman.  The fifth track on “Inward” lyrically implies a dream of sorts where two strangers’ lives connect spontaneously on their train ride home.  The vocalists sing:  taking the night train / riding the long way home / we never spoke, and never will / it all happened in a dream / during that fleeting moment / and the world had passed away / we leave so little trace / but a memory in the dark.  The song starts with light guitar strums and innocent synths and it builds into a fleeting, magical song whose melody and timing induce that abstruse feeling that dreams evoke.  “Night Train” stays pretty much soft and unhurried in its execution throughout the initial minute, and then at the two minute / forty-five second mark, Ghostly Beard strikes the chords of his electric guitar and it gives an instant java rush.  It is as if the train sped up.  Ghostly Beard’s guitar just talks man.  “Night Train” is a great musical surprise that includes wonderfully utilized writing and production techniques which in turn allows for the visual interpretation to be fulfilled by the listener.  As the track begins, you instantly envision passengers on a train with non-recognizant expressions on their faces sitting in assigned seats (if you will) and as the track concludes, it is as if the passengers rearrange their seats and the train disappears leaving no evidence as to the encounters there upon.  Flawless!  

The lyrics of “Let it Rain” read like an entry in a diary and suggests how one’s world can just crumble down due to heartbreak and the heartbreakers reluctance to care – You never had to break my heart / you never had to tear me the way you did / I'll never trust another one / I need some time to be the same again / my whole being out of hand / entire world just turned to sand.  Following a similar lyrical foundation as The Temptations’ track “I Wish It Would Rain,” both tracks traditionally set rain as the euphemism for tears and melancholy and display practical, yet powerful meaning in a short-length song.  Equally appealing is Ghostly Beard’s somber second tenor vocal resonance staying behind the music combined with soft harmonies and a guitar solo that electrifyingly alerts you to his inward sadness.  The only VOX FX is the echo technique adding to the loneliness.  “Let it Rain” opens with a lovely standardly tuned guitar tempered with a little flanging which adds texture and eclecticism to the track.  This sole guitar is soon kissed by the bass, snares, keys, and cymbals implementing a fresh take on Classic Soft Rock.  

And lastly, but not least, is “Going Away” a high-spirited track which is about being spontaneous enough to ebb and flow with whatever life throws at you on the daily.  Sarah Talbot (Ghostly Beard’s daughter) sings effortlessly and passionately adding to the track’s free-spirited vibe, while Ghostly Beard nonchalantly sings in his distinctive second tenor / baritone airlifting voice.  The lyrics sing: Monday, Tuesday, hard to say what happens everyday / we gotta hurry, gotta work, be ready and smile along the way / then time goes by and blood at last is rushing through our brains / who knows what's waiting for us? The time is right again / I got a good feeling... We're going away.  The music pullback at the two minute / eighteen second mark introduces Beard’s signature guitar riffs and feature Sarah Talbot’s vocals under a euphoric FX which are panned perfectly in each ear adding to the vacay appeal of this track thus marking “Going Away” as a cult favorite amongst summer jet-setters and roof-top party goers.  It’s that perfect balance of North American Rock and a catchy hook that makes “Going Away” one of the best songs on “Inward” – that spice of life married to a dare devil attitude. This song showcases less synthesized production and more classic niche-specific instrumentation which gives way to a more organic Classic Rock track.  Road trip anyone? 

Ghostly Beard is mysterious and meticulous when it comes to his image, music and message, but he is surgical in making sure that what he feels translates into the music and is felt and grasped by anyone who listens.  Choosing not to reveal his person adds to the mystery, but we SEE this artist and the tangible reality that transcends from his music. 

No stranger to the Indie Music world, Ghostly Beard has set the mark, made the mark, and keeps astounding us with his support of fellow artists, creative ways to better the world of Indie Music, and his talent. 

To further explore the genius behind the Ghost, let’s investigate his INtricate creations: 

Using the prefix “IN” several times to deepen the scope of his current muse or life reflection, each of Ghostly Beard’s albums/EPs intriguingly delve into the life of an artist in different ways and this technique takes us along for a musical ride into the infinite, invisible, and now inside the artist Ghostly Beard. 

First, we were gifted with “Infinite” (i.e. limitless) – an EP that brought out the musical aptitude of the artist.  It was as if we were stepping into Ghostly Beard’s conservatory and were able to listen to skillfully layered, multiple genres, of songs all housed within the artist’s treasure trove.  It was boundless and freeing.

Next, we had “Invisible” (i.e. not visible) – an EP that musically illustrated the imperceptible, yet strong, frame of the artist.  This primarily Jazz collection featured songs demonstrating the invisible qualities of life made visible with a glimpse of Ghostly Beard’s music.  

Now we have “Inward” – a glimpse inside – we get the opportunity to look at Ghostly Beard’s musical interior – to me, this album is like a snap shot of an artist’s soul. 

So, as was touched on earlier regarding “re-inventing the wheel,” Ghostly Beard never tries to re-invent the wheel in music so to speak.  A true artist like Ghostly Beard could NEVER even attempt to re-invent, it would go against his musical philosophy as he is true to form and original. 

In using that metaphor, if music was the wheel, let’s just say Ghostly Beard has upgraded its durability and its efficiency.  He is a master at improving not re-inventing his technique – he cleverly polishes, and he does it so well, spiking our curiosity and engaging our senses! 

Ghostly Beard experimented with a new musical technique of culminating multiple genres and balancing their edges with his sole style of mellow eclecticism – this expands his artistic horizons. Particularly notable was the fusion of Jazz and Blues with Pop and facets of Rock on the album's sound. 

Never disappointing, Ghostly Beard has done it again.  

This album shows that Ghostly Beard is not just another cult artist in the Indie Music realm, but a universal artist who is easily becoming a greatly requested and recognizable artist INdefinitely! 

“Inward” dropped May 4th, so go to Ghostly Beard's page  to get your copy – I promise, it will be worth it.

 

Comments

Thanks so much for this awesome review again, Kiki! It warms my old heart that you connect so nicely with my music, and write so eloquently about it! xxx
yes!!! you said exactly what I feel about this album!!

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