Like a musical apparition, London’s Amanda Ghost flits from one stylistic plane of existence to another over the course of her debut. From the aggressive dance grooves of “Filthy Mind”, to the orchestral majesty of “Numb”, she manages to sound convincing, if a bit unoriginal.
Ghost’s mood swings are as effortless as her influences are obvious. “Numb” sounds like an outtake from an Alanis Morrissette album, while the chorus of “Glory Girl” is a near carbon copy of Natalie Merchant. PJ Harvey, Sinead O’Connor, and even Janis Joplin are also well represented in various songs bearing their likeness.
The derivative nature of her material aside, Ghost has a malleable voice that warbles with equal effectiveness on the trance numbers and the folksy ballads. Her lyrics tend toward a simplified version of the PJ/Sinead school of spirituality in relationships, however. From “Cellophane”: “Nobody moves me, I’ve been through this world with no place that I can call my own.” This sense of something missing is a central theme throughout. “Empty”, aside from the title reference, addresses “This shallow need to feel wanted, worshipped and adored, and never be ignored”. That sentiment is all too common, especially with any number of aspiring rock stars like Amanda Ghost. Until she finds a voice that doesn’t belong to someone else, that need may go unfulfilled.
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