Mike Grogan’s album Too Many Ghosts uses a mixture of song styles, from singer-songwriter to country. Each song holds it’s own blend of folk and american country sounds, and the album keeps a steady pop melodies throughout. While the rhythms used give it an American Country sound, the simple-but-sweet lyrics bring out an accessible pop style, and it’s the background instruments give it that folky feeling.
Each song is different, but one concept seems to run throughout: the idea of looking for positivity and joy in a difficult world. The album starts on a positive note. The first song, 'Show Them What Love Can Do' highlights feelings of strength in numbers, and the power of love. The song reminds me of Steve Knightley’s style, with plenty group singing, which also adds to the notion of the power of friendship and belonging.
The second song starts a string of less positive songs; they discuss a difficult present, but a wish for happiness, and a belief in hope to come. These songs seem to err towards a stronger pop-style. 'Let Me Feel The Rain' is a mournful cry for help, wishing to see the beauty in dark times. The topic of the title track, 'Too Many Ghosts', discusses an idea which I find intriguing; there is too much sadness in the world and that it takes up our time - time in which we could be looking for happiness and joy. This is the first song that uses an American Country style.
The fourth song, 'The Way', is where the album slows down and changes topic. It’s in a distinct singer-songwriter style, and though it has a certain melancholic delivery than all of the previous songs, it discusses how the narrator believes he has found a way to happiness. It’s very simple chorus adds to the narrator’s clarity of understanding of "the way".
'Big Ships' stands out in this album. It’s not about the future, but the past, unlike the rest of the songs. It’s also more narrative than the rest of the album. It has a lovely opening sequence using sounds of the sea, introducing the song’s harbour setting. It has a distinct feeling of reminiscing the past, or perhaps even childhood.
'Wish You' is a simple love song, sung to a lost love. The singer is wishing their love, future, happiness and fortune, despite not being able to be around for it. It’s a sweet send-off to a lost love, it’s sadness emphasised by the piano and violin in the background.
The song that stood out to me most was 'Heaven is Here'. It’s definitely my favourite on the album. It’s a simple love song which contrasts the description of heaven up above given in Hallelujah, suggesting that heaven is on earth while his love is around. The album ends beautifully with a sweet, calm lullaby, returning to a more folky style. This song shows that sometimes simplicity is best.
The album goes through a variety of topics; feeling strong, looking for happiness, looking to the past, finding happiness - but it keeps one theme throughout: the understanding of the search for happiness and love. A great album here with fantastic narrative and lyrical content.