Ghostland

Guide Me God

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You've got to love marketing, especially when it ends up serving a good purpose. Ghostland's 1998 debut was sadly neglected by listeners -- at least until the trance remix of "Guide Me God" hit the dancefloors. And now, what happens but that album appears under the title of...Guide Me God. But a rose is a rose, no matter the name, and the soulful, cinematic sound of Ghostland is wonderful. Sinéad O'Connor takes the vocals on the title cut (as she does on "Blue" and "Your Time Will Come"), with the sweep of an orchestra behind her on a song that truly does sound like a prayer (notably, the track stands alone here -- on the original release it faded into the next cut), but the vision throughout is by the main trio of Justin Adams, John Reynolds, and Caroline Dale, who bring together Celtic, Arabic, and modern classical influences in a wonderfully minimalist way. All too often, it's Dale who takes the high ground here, with some resonant cello lines that can recall Arvo Pärt, as on "Ghostland." Natacha Atlas contributes some exquisite singing, too (combining with O'Connor on the title cut, although she keeps more in the background). Throughout there's a delicate, ethereal beauty (and often majesty) that leaves the listener in no doubt that there's more than one song to Ghostland.

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