School Of Seven Bells‘ new album Ghostory has all the elements needed for a killer record. Alejandra Deheza’s voice is simultaneously beautiful and haunting, the album is full of emotional lyrics that most listeners can relate to, and the music is full of thumping beats and soothing melodies. There is just one problem: none of the three elements mesh well together.
The new album is not bad. However, the music comes across as a mere background to the lyrics, rather than a part of each song. I don’t know if this is due to the change in the dynamics of the group, or that they pen the lyrics before adding the music, rather than the other way around. On two occasions, Deheza and Curtis nail it. With the tunes “The Night” and “Lafaye,” all the elements of great song-crafting come together, creating a sonic playground for the ears. Unfortunately, the rest of the tracks fall a bit flat and come across as mere dance numbers.
I really wanted to like this album and gave it multiple listens to see if I was missing something — but there was nothing for me to miss. Give it a listen and judge for yourself. It is a decent effort, but does not live up to the band’s previous releases.
(Vagrant Records, 5566 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016)