Clem Snide

The Ghost of Fashion

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A departure from the somber Your Favorite Music,The Ghost of Fashion is, on many levels, Eef Barzelay and Jason Glasser's greatest achievement.Barzelay has turned in a super batch of songs, harvesting his strengths and channeling them into a diverse landscape of ornery rockers and ballads of transparent, gliding simplicity. Glasser's arrangements have never been better--pushy, earnest, and bursting with beautiful details, his production swirls around and through Barzelay's lyrics without obscuring their intelligence, and when the two men's eccentric visions are in synch, the results are stunning. Particularly, "Joan Jett of Arc," a metaphor for Barzelay's first sexual experience, sparkles with innocence and humor, while "Moment in the Sun," a typically cynical musing on celebrityhood, became the theme song to the Ed television show. Elsewhere, the charming "Long Lost Twin" makes use of a subdued rockabilly shuffle, and "Chinese Baby" beautifully remakes the band's 1998 acoustic recording. Truthfully, some of this is probably going to be an unsettling experience for fans craving more of Your Favorite Music's dreamy countrysides, but Ghost's cloudy intensity is one of the most exhilarating experiences of the year.

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