December 20, 2007

2007 Album Of The Year

Siobhan Donaghy / Ghosts

In the tradition of Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins, the ex-Sugababe Siobhán Donaghy (pronounced Donnahee) propelled herself into a place somewhere high above the usual air in which pop music floats. There aren't many artists like this anymore, are there? Siobhán isn't selling her private life or her body or her haute production team. Ghosts is a beautiful and adventurous album written and recorded in a French chateau with a talented producer named James Sanger.

Siobhán said she wanted to make a record that was meaningful and quirky. She waltzes all over the pop map in terms of song styles, but the ultimate effect is "rococo" pop. Even the b-sides, like Don't Take Me Back and Givin' In, were sublime. Here is what I said last spring after finally hearing the whole CD:

Clearly, Siobhán has spent long hours lying on her floor listening to Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush, and Tori Amos on her big headphones. The record has a really wide scope, from the Kate-ish backwards trilling on the title track to the "swaying" pop of So You Say. Medevac swoops and pounds while our lass wails about being "strung out." My current favorite is the glistening folk/orchestral ballad There's A Place. This album is a pleasing combination of glorious pop laced with bits of Anglo weirdness.
At the start of 2007, Siobhán gave away the title track (below!) for free on her myspace page. I wrote the above text on March 28, a full three months before the album was released. I suspect many people did not pay for it. Had they done so, they'd know that Ghosts has the most beautiful album packaging of the year. The artwork perfectly complimented the music, with disturing and (literally) ghostly photos by Floria Sigismondi.

Siobhán Donaghy Don't Give It Up video
Siobhán Donaghy So You Say video [I don't like this one!]
Siobhán Donaghy Ghosts fanmade video
Siobhán Donaghy Medevac live at Popstarz
Siobhán Donaghy
There's A Place live at AOL - pretty!
Siobhán Donaghy Interview

Favorite tracks: Medevac, Halcyon Days, So You Say, Sometimes, There's A Place

Thanks to Zarko @ Design Scene for the new photo


Adem With An E said...

A truly bewitching album, wasn't it? Were you a fan of the first album xo?

brettwatson said...

I was a massive fan of the first album, and the follow up doesn't dissapoint. thanks for the review. I thinkI may have even read it when you first posted it.

LeeBee said...

I can't decide which album is my favourite this year, Ghosts or Overpowered.

xolondon said...

Thanks to you 3 for commenting! The only song I really like on SD's first CD is Overrated (is that the name of it)? I much prefer her current sound.

Decided that tonight I'll change out the free b-side for Givin' In. I like that one more!

brettwatson said...

Please I beg you.. Check out these trtacks from Siobhan's first solo album.

1) Revolution In Me <<< Dark Moody & grows on you.
2) Little Bits <<< More of the Dark & Moody.
3) Iodine <<< If nothing else, please please give this track another chance its my favourite on the album by far.
4) Twist of Fate <<< Generic Pop
5) As You Like It <<< Funky
6) Overrated <<< Gold my 2nd Favourite but you already like this song!

Would love to heard your second impression! said...

Great choice; such a fantastic album!

paul @ said...

you know, i wish two things ~ one that i had your exquisite taste and got albums like this and darren and roisin, which clearly are excellent albums yet are somehow distant to me and two ~ that i had your amazing writing style. That is all.

DanProject76 said...

Hey! It's Don't Take Me Back! I love that b-side!

One of my fave albums of the year too.

Fact! Iodine is on my Christmas CD at work. The public must love it or else!

xolondon said...

Just updated with Givin' In, which I decided was the best b-side. Most were album worthy, but SD did a good thing by putting on only 12 songs

countpopula said...

Inspiring choice XO. Shame this girl spent so much time post album starring in Rent in the UK, for it left little time to promote this the way it should have been. It was #9 in my top 10 of 07 as well:

1. Roisin Murphy-Overpowered
2. Robyn-Robyn (I know, it's old)
3. Arctic Monkeys-Favourite Worst Nightmare
4. Tracey Thorn-Out of the Woods
5. Darren Hayes-This Delicate Thing We've Made
6. Kylie-X
7. Sophie Ellis-Bextor-Trip the Light Fantastic
8. Girls Aloud-Tangled Up
9. Siobhan Donaghy-Ghosts
10. Justice-Cross