PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

Colin Blunstone: The Ghost of You and Me

One of the most unique and beautiful voices of the last 40-plus years, Colin Blunstone falls short with songs that fail to do justice to his gifts.


Colin Blunstone

The Ghost of You and Me

US Release: Import
Label: Ennismore
UK Release: 2009-03-09
Amazon
Amazon
iTunes

Colin Blunstone has one of the most unique and beautiful voices in popular music. For more than 40 years, his clear, compelling vocals have held millions of fans in thrall through Zombies classics, guest projects, and solo albums. On the heels of last year's successful Zombies reunion celebrating the anniversary of Odessey and Oracle, Blunstone has released The Ghost of You and Me, a record that has been in the works for the last 13 years.

A collection of love songs, The Ghost of You and Me starts off with the stirringly soulful title track. An atmospheric, piano-based ballad, it is breath-taking and suitably haunting as Blunstone sings: "I didn't mean to fall in love with you / And baby there's a name for what you put me through / It isn't love, it's robbery / I'm sleeping with the ghost of you and me".

He naturally imbues those words with an authenticity and an emotional depth that were entirely lacking in BBMak's 2001 rendition of the tune. It's a heart-wrenching benchmark for the album. Unfortunately, most of the remaining tracks fail to measure up.

It's not that Blunstone necessarily falters -- his voice and all its affecting qualities continue throughout -- but the songs themselves fall short. Roughly the first half of the compositions follows a similar structure to that of the title track, which is essentially a grand pop ballad. These songs have cloying arrangements and rather annoyingly adolescent lyrics, even for love songs. "Dance With Life" may be the worst offender, with its rambling opening verse:

I need to get you on my mind

I want to fill my head with you

And I can learn every word that's been written

And justify all that's been proved

For it's all been so simple 'til now

There's no brilliance like beauty out there

No knowledge as wise as the heart

We all need a reason to care

The second half of the album goes heavier on the strings courtesy of Chris Gunning, who also worked with Blunstone on the 1972 classic "Say You Don't Mind". Sadly, none of these even come close to that masterpiece, and it's again, partly, because of soppy, schmaltzy lyrics. It's also because all of these maudlin melodies are grouped together, dragging down the back end of the album. "Love Left a Long Time Ago" is almost a moment of light among the descending gloom, with a hummable pizzicato tune, but even it gets lost in the leaden laments surrounding it.

The Ghost of You and Me ends with "The Sun Will Rise Again", which sounds eerily like Nick Drake in its folkish arrangement, lyrical subject, and in Blunstone's phrasing. This one, too, should be a bright spot, but it seems somehow misplaced in the track listing, and as the album's end note it loses any power it may have otherwise possessed. Nevertheless, Colin Blunstone's ethereal voice still shines with an undimmed brilliance and undeniable beauty. Let's hope his next record won't squander such magnificence on substandard songs.

5

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.