Pale Green Ghosts - John Grant
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Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced with Biggi Veira, the synth-pop second release for the former Czars singer includes guest vocals from Sinead O’Connor.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Mar 19, 2013
    Throughout its running time, Pale Green Ghosts sees Grant ably balance a sense of humour with quietly devastating content.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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]
  5. Jun 13, 2013
    Pale Green Ghosts reaches a personal level that can feel fascinatingly intimate or witheringly so. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.93]
  6. 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.
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    Pale Green Ghosts is both novel and familiar. [Apr 2013, p.86]

See all 24 Critic Reviews

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! Collapse
  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. Expand
  3. May 17, 2013
    This album picks up where John Grant's debut album "Queen of Denmark" left off. He finds new ways to express his journey in this world with a voice that will win you over immediately. This album shakes things up a bit with some electronica which I think adds a nice touch and Sinead O'Connor (who admits to having a crush on Mr. Grant-who is gay) makes a couple of guest appearances and her voice on other's albums always makes sense and sounds celestial. This is a beautiful yet 'bruised' album. I mean, how it is that John Grant can create something transcendent out of the mundane; this album is produced very well also. Expand
  4. Jun 1, 2013
    Many great albums came out in 2010 but one that seemed to come out of nowhere and enter the consciousness was the sublime ‘Queen of Denmark’ the Midlake produced debut solo record from former Czars main man John Grant. A troubled past, some wilderness years and a backlog of ideas propelled the record forward making it at first a cult hit before it started to break a little into the mainstream. So it is with high expectation I go into ‘Pale Green Ghosts’ his second this time produced by Gus Gus’ Birgir Þórarinsson. If you loved his debut then you will no doubt love this, Grant still oozes wit, charm and continues to address similar demons as before. The record itself, as expected, is slightly more electronic in places but still manages to contain orchestral flurries, eighties synths, piano interludes and, as the final song ‘Glacier’ will attest to, the sublimely epic. Grant’s voice veers also from deep baritone to beautiful highs and on ‘Black Belt’ he sounds like a less psychedelic MGMT in his delivery. On first listen I thought ‘GMF’ was a little too tongue in cheek but its charms grew on me and it still raises a smile every time I hear the lines ‘Half of the time I think I'm in some movie, I play the underdog of course, I wonder who they’d get to play me, maybe they could dig up Richard Burton’s corpse’. It is of course a loaded line, Burton paralleling Grant’s past misdemeanours, but it is still darkly humorous, which, like his first album, is one of the records strengths. Because no matter how low Grant has been and how much he is exploring his dark past it doesn’t always feels maudlin and like Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields he knows how to craft a balance between the light and dark, the real and the absurd. ‘Why Don't You Love Me Anymore’ one of the three songs where Grant is backed by Sinéad O'Connor is as powerful and moving as anything you’ll hear this year as is ‘Ernest Borgnine’ where Grant addresses his recent diagnosis with HIV. It all sounds heavy and in the wrong hands could have played out that way but Grant has crafted eleven beautifully different, clever and honest songs. I hope, like in his own words, he ‘gets to sing for lovely people all over this lovely world’ for a long time to come. Expand
  5. Jun 13, 2013
    Never did I once hear of this artist until this record. I was completely and utterly shocked when I was five listens deep and realized how unparalleled this record is. It's unlike any album I've had the pleasure to dive into. Right off the bat, It hooks you in with it's beat-driven dark synth-pop, while John Grants vocals slip in with such an effortless ease of catchiness and accessibility. The lyrics are great, not to mention.

    All In All, thoroughly surprised at how well made this record is. B+
  6. 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. Expand