Soul | Alternative Rock
Oddly enough, British singer/songwriter Obaro Ejimiwe (also known as Ghostpoet) served as one of those artist’s I’ve known for a while, but in that time I’ve known, I haven’t really delved into their music. My first (and pretty much singular instance) of enjoying Ghostpoet up until this point would have to be one of the tracks off of his 2015 album Shedding Skin; titled “Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me”. I simply just happened to come across this track on a Discover Weekly playlist (from what I can recall), and I enjoyed just how atmospheric and soulful the electronic sound of the song was, along with Ghostpoet’s gritty vocals.
While I somehow managed to skip 2017’s Dark Days + Canapés, 2020 has provided a new album that I had decided to review critically, that being I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep. While the only teaser track for this album that I even glossed over would be “Nowhere To Hide Now”, I quickly grew an interest in the full album and its dark aesthetic upon it’s release.
To elaborate on said aesthetic further, I would say that it became the most praiseworthy aspect of this record. Along with the cover, much of the music has quite a gloomy, dark and/or horror inspired feel to them. These kinds of moods pair very well with the albums contextual themes, which feel like a very insightful look into Ejimiwe’s own fears and insecurities.
These positive aspects of I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep, are unfortunately don’t counterbalance the most glaring issue with the project; that being the overextended and overly ambient nature of many of the tracks.
The majority of them are repetitive to the point of being so forgettable, that on multiple occasions, I found myself taken out of the moment and not at all being immersed in the project, which I was actually hoping it would managed to do expertly with its realised aesthetic.
To put it simply, this album mostly just feels incredibly dull to listen to, and had an incredibly slippery grip on my attention when listening to it. Much of it, both musically and lyrically, just felt incredibly uninspired, and perhaps Ejimiwe poured a bit too much of his own gloomy mood into his music in this case.
In comparison to the only track I knew of Ghostpoet prior to this album, I would much rather listen to the colourful and soulful feel of that track, as I personally find it way more enjoyable and engaging. This album, for the most part, is indeed the opposite.
That isn’t to say that this album is completely forgettable; there is a small handful of songs which I found to be very engaging. In particular, “Humana Second Hand” felt incredibly tense and moody in its sound, and the track projected these aesthetics in an engaging way. I also thought the title track felt somewhat reminiscent of the song that allowed me to discover the artist in the first place.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much else I can think of to write about this album, as the overall experience I had didn’t feel particularly impactful. I am still faithful that Ghostpoet is a very talented artist, and I would definitely consider exploring his older material at some point. The unfortunate case with this album was just that it felt like a misstep in execution.
Favourite Tracks: Humana Second Hand | Rats In A Sack | I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep
Least Favourite Track: Black Dog Got Silver Eyes
Play It Again Sam