John Grant is an act to write home about: you should check out his CV! He is the former lead singer of The Czars, his debut solo album Queen Of Denmark was Mojo Magazine’s ‘Best Album of 2015’; he received a BRIT Award nomination for ‘Best International Male Solo Artist’ in 2014; he appeared on the 40th anniversary release of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road…The list goes on. Grant is back with his third album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, said to be a lot moodier than his previous work.
The album’s title-track is five and a half minutes of angst, as Grant voices his troubles. It’s not only the lyrics or the melodies on the album that captures the moody theme: songs like You & Him and Black Blizzard set the atmosphere with earthy sounds and daring synths. It’s the intense tracks that really grip you on this album, and the depth of each arrangement is meant to strike chords and does.
It’s nice to hear the warmth of the guitar in Global Warming. The album needed a track like this to change up the sound. If you didn’t think Grant’s voice had hit an emotional level yet, then you need to give Disappointing a listen as he hits notes that send chills down your spine. Things get a little sci-fi with the eccentric No More Tangles and its synth work, and the airy Geraldine closes the album on a lighter note.
John Grant is definitely a unique artist, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure stands out from the crowd. As mentioned before Grant intended for the album to be darker/moodier, and he achieved this successfully with the powerful use of each instrument expressing emotions; not to mention his equally sharp lyrical work.