Socialist Worker

New Ghostpoet album is best when it’s most political

Issue No. 2569

Ghostpoet on stage

Ghostpoet on stage (Pic: Flickr/endless autumn)


London lyricist and musician Ghostpoet’s fourth album Dark Days and Canapes takes a more explicitly, and welcome, political direction than his previous work.

It has been criticised for its bleakness—and there’s an element of truth to that.

Dealing with topics as harrowing as the refugee crisis, that is not necessarily a bad thing. But you don’t get a feeling from this album that we can do much to change things.

Lead single Immigrant Boogie stands out as a stark indictment of the refugee crisis.

The lyrics are powerful, “I was dreaming of a better life... I can’t swim and water’s in my lungs... Oh let us in.”

The album doesn’t break much new ground technically. But it is well produced and wide ranging in the breadth of musical styles it encompasses.

Recent collaborations with Massive Attack seem to have left an impression.

Some tracks echo Radiohead riffs that border on the rip-off. Others are haunting trip hop-inspired dirges which are unsettling and interesting.

The album has been lauded as a searing political commentary. But unfortunately few of the tracks make really cutting political points.

It’s a pity there aren’t more of them—especially when so much political music is so badly made.


Exhibitions round-up

Basquiat: Boom for Real

Jean Michel-Basquiat’s work features in this new exhibition at the Barbican.

The exhibition features some work previously unseen in Britain. It will specifically look at the relationship between Basquiat’s painting and the New York music scene.

21 September 2017 to 28 January 2018 at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street London, EC2Y 8DS
For more information and to book tickets go to bit.ly/2dDky20

Queer British Art

This exhibition at the Tate is one of a series of exhibitions to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain.

Some pieces featured were produced as far back as 1861.

Until 1 October at Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG. For more information and for tickets go to bit.ly/2gIAAGK

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