Review Summary: With monotony against all anguish.
Obaro Ejimiwe, a British experimental virtuoso of spoken word delivery, is back with a record that might have just perfected his combination of apathetic vocals without a hint of emotions with engulfing, albeit off-the-wall music.
Right from the get-go we get to hear Obaro’s obscure vision. The opener “One More Sip” is an industrially-charged, chaotic cloud of bitterness that is balancing on the verge of becoming dysrhythmic oddity, even though it goes for barely two minutes. But don’t you be scared; this strangeness doesn’t transition into other tracks, at least not fully. The following “Many Moods at Midnight” and “Trouble + Me” sort and smooth things out, showing you that this gloominess can also be charming and beautiful. Besides, they reveal Obaro’s off-colour, monotone vocal delivery, which is a feature of Ghostpoet’s music you’ll just have to get used to.
Truly, the vocals on this album are utmost peculiar, but they are cleverly incorporated into the music. Or rather, the music is cleverly shaped around the vocals. They complement each other. Obaro’s voice keeps the music from getting too blissfully tender, in order for it to remain grounded, while the music pushes the vocals to create a uniquely gentle and emotionally stunning experience. Such is the case most prominently on songs like “(We’re) Dominoes or “Live>Leave”.
But not always does Obaro manage to adjust the music well enough to support the weight of his monotone delivery. Some songs seem to be a tad disjointed with either both vocals and the arrangement sounding too tired, like on the closer song “End Times”, or both going into seemingly different directions, leading to the song’s ultimate aesthetic downfall, such as “Woe is Meee”.
In spite of that, the vast majority of the songs are highly original, beautifully off-kilter, massively satisfying displays of atypical musical talent. Dark Days + Canapés
is just another solid as gold album, moving and staggering from the songwriting perspective and intriguing from the instrumental and vocal side, nevermind its rare missteps.