Mark Geary Ghosts

An understudy of Jeff Buckley and touring mate of the Frames, Dubliner (by way of Manhattan) Mark Geary displays an enviable quality for a songwriter on Ghosts: consistency across diversity. Geary’s sophomore release is quilted with genres and approaches to recording but is only richer for it. Part of this is because his gift for melody permeates the entire album, starting with the sonically lavish "Beautiful” and stamping a signature mark throughout. Some of the tracks are economical in their presentation, calling to mind Geary’s stripped down debut, while on others, producer Justin Guip lovingly adds splashes of electronica and builds soundscapes with Moogs and electric guitars. Geary goes from Cerys Matthews-inspired alt country ("A Prayer for Rita”) to gentle rocker ("Fanfare”) to drum programming aided ballads, and even manages to squeeze in a line stolen, surely, from some lost lonesome country b-side ("your baby’s got a wandering eye”) in the barebones folk song "Mid-nite Sun.” Yet somehow the journey is never bumpy. Even the slightly obtuse bonus track, "Hold Tight,” recorded under an overpass, manages to sound completely natural on the record. Weird, but good. (True North)