Album Review: DM Stith – Heavy Ghost

March 10, 2009

Heavy Ghost

Concept: Romance and sadness, thoroughly intertwined with a suspiciously light-hearted tone. DM Stith felt like the songs’ pieces were following him like ghosts throughout production.

Sound: DM Stith was something of an apprentice to Sufjan Stevens while making this album. He presents freak-folk pop with toy armies of sound effects; it might be seen as a bridge between Devendra Banhart and The Shins for those who enjoy one but not the other. It’s twisted bedtime story aesthetic might also conjure memories of Queens of The Stone Age or Nick Cave. The closest comparison, however, might be Nick Drake, the sleepwalking English folk artist, with a sour Radiohead gloss. He wavers on the wind, pale and playful, more mischievous than heavy. The biggest issue is his voice. DM Stith has a prodigious range, but has not been blessed with a very appealing voice, and swarms of his layered soprano can and will become grating for the listener, and it certainly damages the album’s initial value.

Lyrics: Not my cup of tea, but mindful of its environment. Not quite as mysterious or subtle as the music, and sometimes a little repetitive, although this is usually to good effect. His narrative skill has room for improvement, but he seems up to the task.

Quick And Dirty: Musically, the album as a whole is fantastic. DM Stith is crafty, theatrical, and ambitious. However, his voice and lyrics are hard to swallow, and the album’s distinctive ‘sound’ is a one-trick pony. (♦♦♦½)

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2 Responses to “Album Review: DM Stith – Heavy Ghost”

  1. Kevin T. Springer said

    I like the album. Asthmatic Kitty is streaming the full album at: http://www.asthmatickitty.com/music.php?releaseID=120

  2. […] (Honorable Mention: Wild Beasts – Two Dancers, Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, DM Stith – Heavy Ghost) […]

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