Goblin Market

Ghostland

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AllMusic Review by

Goblin Market offer slightly downcast, multi-textured folk-rock on Ghostland, which as the title indicates is heavy on songs evoking times past. That's not just conjecture on part of a critic: there are musical adaptations of verse by Emily Bronte and Edgar Allan Poe, who even in their time were preoccupied with haunting images and mourning the dead and gone. When they write their own words, Kelly and Weller also favor observations about the passing of time and vanished figures, as on "Highgate," inspired by the famous London cemetery of the same name. The multi-instrumentalists create suitably ethereal settings with guitar, piano, guitar, flute, and accordion, though the occasional synthesized effects have a modern chilliness at odds with the material. "A Nightmare" is garnished with jarring electronic blasts more in line with what you'd expect from an industrial goth group, not a folk-rock goth one. The record isn't as diverse and engaging as Kelly's best solo recordings, and at the same time more personal and intimate than the Green Pajamas. The songs on which Kelly are more prominent outshine those of Weller's, particularly when his winsome voice is at its most vulnerable. At those times it sounds rather like the most low-key efforts of another (slightly more renowned) indie icon, Chris Knox.

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