Ghosts We Must Carry
Dreamy, faintly sad, slightly meandering, this album has much to admire – presentation, orchestration, some twinklingly lovely songs – but may leave many with only vaguely positive impressions once it is over. The sound of State Broadcasters is almost too defined and confident, with its predominantly weak-blooded acoustic songs replete with melancholy lyrics and folksy, inoffensive musical embellishments (banjo, trombone accordian, cello, double bass). It's effective but sometimes leaves little space for the songs to move, and is so homogenous that the album, if it catches you in the wrong mood (a mood requiring some more vital musical muscle and bone), can seem a little too polite and whimsical. This is music for lazily strolling through an autumnal city park or waking hazily on a sleepy morning, and its achievements are subtle and gentle. Kittiwake is lovely song, as is the opener The Only Way Home, but overall the album is too sonorously monotonous and one-paced to be truly involving. Its jingle-jangling pleasantness borders on a kind of knowing naivety, which isn't very appealing.