Pale Green Ghosts - John Grant

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. May 13, 2013
    Pale Green Ghosts has a little something for everyone, and while all of the over-sharing can be a little overbearing, Grant's huge, expressive, and oddly comforting voice acts as a sedative, turning even the saddest, raunchiest, and most uncomfortable turn of phrase into a caress.
  2. May 16, 2013
    It's this sense that nothing is (seemingly) too private for him to share in a song that makes Pale Green Ghosts so potent and, ultimately, accessible
  3. Mar 7, 2013
    It is arguably more satisfying [than his debut, Queen of Denmark], in its artistic courage, its refusal to meet expectations and its willingness to paint a brand new picture of gay demi-monde where the triumphs and tragedies have a deeper resonance than simple melodrama or camp. [Apr 2013, p.70]
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    As piano and strings crescendo, concluding Pale Green Ghosts' uncommon vistas of seriousness, levity and disco dancing, you can imagine the singer departing in triumph, and anything but an underdog. [Apr 2013, p.112]
  5. Mar 7, 2013
    Pale Green Ghosts is both novel and familiar. [Apr 2013, p.86]
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    Pale Green Ghosts reaches a personal level that can feel fascinatingly intimate or witheringly so. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.93]
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    It’s a towering achievement, building on what has come before while expanding it in astonishing ways. This is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year.
  8. Mar 8, 2013
    There's the occasional dud, and occasional dull moment, but Pale Green Ghosts mostly succeeds in expanding Grant's musical palette, and his wry, knowing observations and lyricism remain as sharp as ever.
  9. Mar 7, 2013
    A genuinely remarkable album: self-obsessed but completely compelling, profoundly discomforting but beautiful, lost in its own fathomless personal misery, but warm, funny and wise. It shouldn't work, but it does.
  10. May 14, 2013
    With Grant’s new Icelandic roots and electronica loyalties as a foundation for the sonic properties of Pale Green Ghosts--likely a far cry from the Midlake-backed organ-roots rock of Queen--the album somehow retains everything that’s made Grant such an anomaly in the underground pop world.
  11. May 30, 2013
    The production has a pristine, streamlined quality, with Grant’s vocals high in the mix, so the album’s blend of orchestral and squelchy electronic arrangements mirrors the clarity and grace with which he delivers his crude, self-lacerating ballads.
  12. Mar 7, 2013
    The initial surprise on this follow-up is discovering that Grant’s songs work as well--if not even better--when paired with a synth-pop backing rooted more in the 1980s than the preceding decade.
  13. May 17, 2013
    All is quite slick. It’s a touch proggy and bitter, but not without the piquancy of sauerkraut.
  14. Mar 19, 2013
    Throughout its running time, Pale Green Ghosts sees Grant ably balance a sense of humour with quietly devastating content.
  15. Mar 12, 2013
    Rest assured, his remarkable voice and grasp of melody remain undimmed and while it may not sound exactly as you were expecting, it is a bold, distinctive and genuinely excellent record.
  16. 80
    It’s not one for EDM purists or those who like their lyrics with any degree of ambiguity, but if you’re the kind of person who finds the very idea of John Grant interesting, you can revel in the fact that he just got a whole lot more complicated.
  17. Mar 11, 2013
    It’s not all change though, there is still a sense of continuity.
  18. Mar 12, 2013
    John Grant's songs can be characterised by extreme restlessness and the state of suffering mental and physical discomfort within one's being. The irony and often confronting honesty he brings to these problems ensure Pale Green Ghosts is extremely engaging and often engrossing. But Queen of Denmark it is not.
  19. Mar 11, 2013
    It's an uneven departure.
  20. The occasional familiar, Carpenters-esque track aside, it makes for an exhilarating musical progression--even as his lyrical style remains unchanged.
  21. Mar 19, 2013
    Grant brilliantly skewers his own depression, addiction, bitchiness and heartbreak throughout a record which finds him mixing his penchant for corduroy, laid-back melodies with a new, rawly exposed synth-pop that feels like it's seeped up from an underground carpark, all hard concrete and cold, flickering fluorescents.
  22. Jun 4, 2013
    An album of endless revelations, its dry wit and dreamy tunes suggest a mash-up between Pet Shop Boys and Jimmy Webb.
  23. Mar 7, 2013
    He’s made a motherf***ing exciting record, that’s for sure.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jul 25, 2013
    Album of the year so far for me. Seeing him live and seeing how much he puts into his music just makes you appreciate it more. This album likes to be listened to loud! Full Review »
  2. May 16, 2013
    Album of the year so far for me. Beautiful and sublime that doesn't pull any punches. His voice is just so dam amazing. It encompasses several different moods musically from the dance floor to the introspection of a lone nights drive. Be sure to give yourself a quiet moment to listen to the panoramic closing track Glacier very moving. Also you will NOT be able to get GMF out of your head ever, but that is quite alright. Full Review »
  3. Feb 17, 2014
    though the songs might slow down and decrease in their power near the end, Pale Green Ghosts is an emotional electro-flavoured wonder that John Grant and many other people out there should consider to be the build up to a mind-blowing masterpiece. Full Review »