Ghostpoet’s Twitter bio states that he “could be happier”. This feeling of restlessness coupled with the desire for something better seeps through all parts of his second album, the elliptically titled Some Say I So I Say Light.
The Mercury award nominated artist (he doesn’t like to be referred to as a rapper or an MC for that matter) opens proceedings with the rather sombre and morose ‘Cold Win’. The track begins with an ominous and throbbing electro beat as Ghostpoet pleads for someone to “show me the way”.
This desire to escape his surroundings is dealt with again on the album’s second track ‘Them Waters’ as the lyricist pleads for some mystery higher power to “send me down the Thames”.
Despite some more upbeat moments like the sprightly guitar riff at the beginning of ‘Plastic Bag Brain’, the album as a whole is a journey through the mind of a young man dealing with the topics that most young men struggle with, relationship failures (the catchy ‘Meltdown’) and a search for meaning and purpose in life (‘Sloth Trot’). These are heavy topics for sure but Some Say I So I Say Light is a thought provoking if slightly overly long at 52 minutes.
Musically the album takes its queues from Radiohead albums such as Kid A and Amnesiac or even more accurately Thom Yorke’s solo offering Eraser. '12 Deaf’ is reminiscent of Amnesiac’s ‘Pyramid Song’ as Ghostpoet talks about “sleeping with the ocean” over a menacing and portent piano. His delivery is similar to that of fellow Englishman Roots Manuva although some lyrics remain indecipherable even after many listens.
This seems like a deliberate decision and an attempt by Ghostpoet to maintain a level of intrigue and eeriness throughout the record.
The landscape he paints is one of mystery through his opaque lyrics and industrial style production. His world is, by and large, filled with hardship in both his working and personal life.
This might seem overly pessimistic but Ghostpoet is a man in touch with the general mood around him. He is aware of the economic doom and gloom that currently surrounds us and Some Say I So I Say Light is the album you listen to if you want to ponder on the difficulties of living in the current climate.
One positive note is, however, found right at the album’s end. Despite lyrics like “I feel like the whole world has turned its back on me,” closing track ‘Comatose’ finishes with a positively upbeat string section that could almost be described as euphoric. A pointer to happier times ahead perhaps.8/10
Some Say I So I Say Light by Ghostpoet is out now and available on iTunes.