Holy Ghost!: Dynamics

holy ghostHoly Ghost!
(DFA Records)

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There are plenty of indie and pop artists building their sound off of an ’80s model, but few do it quite like Holy Ghost!. The group’s self-titled debut stood out from its peers by not holding back on its commitment to an ’80s musical aesthetic; the New York duo didn’t use some ’80s production techniques and some ’80s compositional tricks and mix them with a more modern approach. This is true vintage. And on Dynamics, the duo prove that they can do it again, even more convincingly.

This time around, they mix their Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark homage with more early ’80s Italo disco. Dynamics is definitely a more dance-oriented album than Holy Ghost!, but the songwriting suffers nothing for it. Their anthemic melodies and clever lyrics remain in-tact and stronger than ever. The album feels more cohesive and thorough than their debut, which at times comes across as a collection of singles.

One could, however, find fault (or at least irony) in the fact that this album is not very dynamic. The songs do show influences from varied sources like OMD, Duran Duran, and Giorgio Moroder, but ultimately, it all starts to blend together. This is not to say that the album isn’t good, just that it’s less sonically eclectic than its title might suggest.

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About Scott Interrante

Scott Interrante currently studies Musicology at CUNY Hunter College where he focuses on issues of gender in pop music. He also writes for PopMatters, The Absolute, and Dear Song In My Head. Scott is an avid Taylor Swift fan and is currently re-watching all of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.
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