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Monday, September 27, 2010

Life Size Ghost - Where We Started

Life Size Ghost - Where We Started
2010, Life Size Ghost

Mount Pleasant, Michigan is the home of Life Size Ghost, an eclectic six-piece band boasting the impressive Talitha Snowden on vocals (and keys). Unlike many such bands, Life Size Ghost doesn't exist simply to back Snowden. This collective is highly talented and original, with Erik Ryden (lead guitar); Curtis Hendershott (guitar); Dan Pavlovich (bass); Brian Thomas (drums) and Reese Gall (vibraphone) rounding out the roster. Unusual instrumentation and a distinctive sound bear fruit on Life Size Ghost's sophomore album Where We Started.

Life Size Ghost opens with "Old Design", a wonderfully dark jam rock excursion that shows both the power and finesse of Life Size Ghost while highlighting the impressive voice of Snowden. "Fight Or Flight" is a bit maudlin but follows an interesting compositional path touching on a blend of modern rock and classic/progressive rock. "Where We Started" features a strong performance from Snowden but feels stuck in its own musical inertia. The plodding course of the melody line weighs heavily on the song. "Every Other Word" is a slow, dynamic rocker that features outstanding work on the vibes and another strong vocal outing from Talitha Snowden. Life Size Ghost is hitting on all cylinders here in the sort of big rock anthem that has real radio potential. "Anytime, Anywhere" puts on some muscle in a dark, energetic rocker; a needful invitation that devolves into a generic reggae rhythm for the guitar solo before returning to form. "Well Aware" finds Life Size Ghost surfing mellow waters in an almost ambient rock opening before kicking in the big guitar sound that rears its head from time to time, but has a hard time escaping its own weight. Where We Started closes with "Count Me Out", a melancholy kiss off song that's more about personal escape and redemption than getting away.

When We Started has its dynamic moments. Life Size Ghost manages to construct some highly original and complex arrangements, but there are other moments when the process seems so burdensome you'll wonder how they got through it. Talitha Snowden has an original voice and uses it well, although she does appear to be stuck at one dynamic level throughout this album. Erik Ryden is a talent on guitar, and the band as a whole is very competent, to say the least. Where We Started isn't a negative experience, but you're likely to be left with the impression of Life Size Ghost as a band who is playing it safe. All of the components are here; it's just a matter of the right inspiration.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Life Size Ghost at or We Started is available as both CD and Download from

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