Radical Face Ghost

Though better known as one half of Floridian electro mope duo Electric President, Ghost is the low-key first release of Ben Cooper’s solo career. Cooper has created a problem for himself though: once word gets out how unrelentingly excellent the album is, he will rue the day he christened this project Radical Face. These 11 songs are thematically united, telling the stories of ghosts that inhabit houses and haunt their inhabitants. Cooper uses a small menagerie of instruments — keyboards, guitars, banjos, drum machines and his own dulcet voice — to create uniquely melodic pieces of lo-fi chamber folk. His considerable proficiency with recording only adds to this album’s impressive breadth, giving it an intimate, dreamy feel. Cooper uses an almost claustrophobic delivery to narrate his stories, weightlessly conveying regret, longing and paranoia, basically all the stuff that races through your head before you fall asleep. On "Glory,” Cooper’s words, laden with unadorned poignancy ("I’m not that old/I’ll find out what broke me soon enough”), fade into a cathartic release of distorted noise — guitars, harmonies and percussion collide rapturously in controlled chaos. It’s the highpoint of the record, that moment of pure goosebump-y goodness that many have tried to attain but few succeed at. Those who will inevitably gripe about superficial Gibbard/Sufjan similarities will be politely asked to extract their heads from their asses and actually listen to this record, which is remarkable in its depth and imagination. (Morr, www.morrmusic.com) (Morr)