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Pale Green Ghosts [VINYL] Double LP, Box set

4.6 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

Price: £18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

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Total price: £58.97
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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (11 Mar. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Double LP, Box set
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B00ANT2FGU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,270 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
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6:03
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2
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4:18
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3
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GMF
5:14
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4
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5:28
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5
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6:26
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6
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6:11
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7
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5:53
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8
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4:41
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9
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4:53
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10
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4:03
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11
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7:37
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Product Description

Product Description

Second studio album from the former Czars frontman John Grant. Featuring the title track 'Pale Green Ghosts' and ten further brand new songs, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at #16. The title refers to the Russian olive trees that grow alongside the I-25 highway near Grant's home in Parker, Colorado.

BBC Review

When The Czars’ frontman John Grant went solo in 2010, the resulting album, Queen of Denmark, was extraordinary.

Laying bare his life, his struggles and heartbreak with openness and wit, the album featured Bella Union labelmates Midlake as Grant’s backing band, contributing their pastoral 1970s sound. It was a natural pairing.

The initial surprise on this follow-up is discovering that Grant’s songs work as well – if not even better – when paired with a synth-pop backing rooted more in the 1980s than the preceding decade.

The eerie, edgy title track opens the album with fierce little darts of synth paired with echoed vocals, conveying the sense of mystery and urgency of the singer’s adolescent journeys down his hometown’s “black highway”, seeking escape.

Tracks like Blackbelt and Sensitive New Age Guy positively bounce, the latter recalling a swathe of 80s bands like The Human League and Depeche Mode.

Rather than a distancing device, these synthesised sounds actually become a conduit for the stories contained in his songs. And these stories are, again, excoriating in their depth of feeling.

That adjective applies most directly to Vietnam, in which the singer compares the silent treatment meted out by his ex (the same ex who haunts most of Grant’s most intense work) to both a “nuclear bomb” and the skin-stripping “Agent Orange”.

This clear-eyed honesty and anger – in the quite brilliant GMF he describes himself as “quite angry, which I barely can conceal” – is not softened by, but paired with, a humour that can be waspish, or just plain laugh-out-loud funny.

Blackbelt is an example of the former, Grant drawling, “Yeah, you got your bored look all worked out”. He’s also a master of a judicious swear, too, as evidenced by GMF – yes, the F stands for that F-word – and I Hate This Town.

Glacier is intensely tender and moving, the closer a ballad directed at youngsters struggling with their sexuality – or, rather, with others’ reactions to it. It is likely to provide succour and comfort from one who has, demonstrably, been through that emotional mill himself.

--Jude Clarke

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I fully admit that "Pale Green Ghosts" was a bit of a shock when I first heard it. Having truly loved "Queen Of Denmark", I then delved back into John's past work to discover all of The Czars' albums and in the space of just a couple of years went from not really knowing about John Grant to being a huge fan of his work. It's actually only because of my respect for him and the fact that one track, in particular, "Glacier" struck me as a work of genius did I play this album more than once because, I have to be honest, when I listened to it for the very first time, I really disliked it. I'm not a fan of modern electronica (although it you're talking about late seventies and eighties electronic music, I'm rather partial) and much of the album grated. However, I persevered, started to enjoy a few more tracks, went to see John in concert in Cambridge and then, as if by magic, the next time I listened to it, this intricate jigsaw of an album really came together and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the whole album from start to finish, particularly enjoying the textures and dynamics of this unusual piece of work. There are hints of the beautiful big balladry of "Queen Of Denmark", but those who wanted an exact replica of that magnificent album and aren't open to something quite different and adventurous from Grant are possibly going be disappointed by at least half of the tracks here. You really do have to widen your horizons a little or have a penchant for the sort of music he has embraced here to enjoy this release, but for those who are able to embrace the changes or who choose to listen to electronica anyway, this album has so much to offer and each repeat playback rewards the listener with a greater return.Read more ›
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"Who is this dude?",I asked myself. How come I have never heard of him? Hell! I can hear a lot of pain here. Oh, he's got some dry wit too.......

It must have been hard to deal with middle American homophobia and his own, wrong footed ,self accusatory doubt about his sexuality being the source of his ills, but, by grief, this man is an epiphany.

Being diagnosed HIV pos is a terrible burden and my heart goes out to him for the difficulties He traverses, but JG sure as heck has created a superb means of getting his thoughts on it out there.

Individual track synopsis is not my style however I do want to state that this whole album is a treasure.

I hate small mindedness and having seen it first hand in that open air asylum between NY and LA. I am so glad there are musicians such as John beating around to expose it to the glare of reason. Judge a person on their merits, not some narrow minded, medieval, hill billy, white bread bigotry.

Gay, straight, up, down, left , right, vegetable, mineral or whatever. Who cares!! What matters is respecting people and their choices, great music, articulate prose and a dark fun, sense of the ridiculous.

Mr Grant you made me a believer. I couldn't care less about your orientation, just that you get your music out to as large an audience as possible.

Buy this and listen over either an effeminate European style coffee or strong malt scotch. Make your own mind up about the meanings within, but do not dismiss. This is important stuff, better than 99.9 % of the fabricated fluff being f£&ted out by Simon Cowell and his ilk.

Pure talent.
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A brilliant collection of self deprecating and darkly humorous tracks which expose the pain of depression, lost love, addiction and personal destruction. There is a strong element of loathing of some previous lover evident, but hope and uplifting moments are present also. I was prompted to go and see John Grant and his band in concert and I wasn't disappointed, a top class performer. Highlights are GMF, Glacier, Vietnam and Pale green ghosts
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Having heard a couple of tracks on YT I decided this was a must purchase. Grants pleasing baritone eases you into a world of deeply felt emotion, wry humour and honest revelation concerning health, fame, relationships and shared experience. Sonically he taps into an electro vibe, using analogue and digital technology with taste and skill never overplaying his hand at the expense of song-writing skill. Lyrics flow with a sense of abstraction and stream of consciousness with the occasional rhyme creating points of structural underpinning. This allows the listener to anchor themselves within the meaning of his stories without feeling that he is cutting you adrift with no points of easy reference. He teases you into his world and then gives you a shove in the guts as you empathise with his predicaments and insights. Intelligent and artful music for adults looking to reflect their life experience with all its uncertainties, disappointments and rare flashes of joy.
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I had no prior knowledge of John Grant's music but a chance listen on Deezer led me to buy this CD for the car. Pale Green Ghosts is electronic music for grown-ups. The lyrics tell of failed love affairs and stubborn independence while the tunes itself are memorable and haunting if not exactly dancefloor-ready. If you're in the mood for something unusual and thoughtful but don't want to venture as far as an acoustic album to get there, give this a go.
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