March 17th 2011

Review: Ghostpoet’s Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam

Never has an artist’s name been more apt than Ghostpoet’s as eery interference noises, reverberating vocals and haunting bass litter his first album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam. However, while that only takes care of the “Ghost”, the poetry isn’t far behind half although start thinking less traditional poetry and more commentary on British day-to-day city life. This probably means we’re actually hearing mobile phone interference, vocals from an underpass and bass from upstairs.

The latter being the most important as rather than making the noise himself Ghostpoet comes across as more of a pragmatic grime artist more interested in talking about what he knows. This can range from pork pies and Pro Evo to an emcee’s toll with personal confidence in their writing. All delivered in an apathetic and slurring nature as if half asleep.

That’s not to say that Ghostpoet is lazy, in fact this style of delivery allows anyone to get into the lyrics a little more (something we’re advocates of at Lesson Six). The meaning might be more complex than first appeared but most tracks are made clearer and in a way this less impressive style of emceeing is more effective for the message.

I don’t know what I’m doing here, but I gotta keep on doing it / Don’t ask me what my plan is because I’m not quite sure I’ve planned it / I’m just sitting here drinking / Playing Pro Evo and thinking / But I think I’ve got it worked out now but I don’t if I’ve got an inkling

Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam has a lot going against it. The drowsy vocals slowly delivering everyday English city life musings over dubstep-esque and muffled production is hardly the most accessible. However, though this experiment we can hear a sound as striking as The Streets in 2001. Unlike Mike Skinner’s rebellious attempt to create something different from Garage, and unfortunately for Ghostpoet himself, this sound isn’t as marketable.

Then again, considering how the mainstream perception of Skinner’s work has stupidly declined over the past decade, maybe Ghostpoet should count his blessings – he’s unique and should have a lot more creative freedom in the future because of this. Ultimately this means that while Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam is well realised and an incredibly unique listen, we should be able to expect more to come from a very promising artist with an intriguing career ahead of him. Very deserving of your attention.

Ghostpoet’s Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam came out on the 4th of February and can be bought on iTunes now.