Acoustic rockers, Lusitanian Ghosts return with their latest release, Lusitanian Ghosts III, further exploring their chordophone approach to writing, recording and performing music. Obviously, the title says out right that this is their third release, following Exotic Quixotic after their self-titled debut. Their experiment with ancient string instruments moves from bow-like to plucking instruments, with a slight shift in the musicians involved.
Acoustic Rock Band's Third Album, Lusitanian Ghosts III
Maybe it's because it was the first single of four from this album, so it's had a chance to settle longer. "The Long Train" is catchy, and light-hearted. The lead singer has said about this single:
“The Long Train is a song celebrating freedom, celebrating life, celebrating the act of setting yourself free so that you may reach that transcendental level of commitment that only comes with true love.” Confusing? “Oh, and it’s also about storks!”
Fine. It's not one to be taken too seriously, and being that I am already of a celebratory nature, I've got more time to think about storks, a bird that gets established already in the first verse, or earlier than expect. Aside from that, however, what's taken more seriously is the respect these musicians have for the instruments used in this release, which are noted toward the end.
I haven't seen it very often, but when I've learned about a band's use of ancient instruments in their work, it's left me in awe. We get to learn about the instruments used, what they sound like and how they're used. Our imaginations allow us to travel to another time and place. There's also the respect for the analog. The artist's use of it can add more value to its use. While, Quentin Tarantino leads in the love for actual film, the irony that an antique 1870 Martin was destroyed on his set can't go unmentioned.
Sure, these guys aren't taking these instruments out of a museum, but they are giving the respect they deserve in order to conjure up ancestral ghosts for these sessions. It's interesting to me how since 2018 they've gone through this journey, discovering those instruments exclusively. When you live with them, even sleep with these instruments, you learn so much more about them and your relationship with them. I'll go through the instruments credited, but let's talk about this album.
The stand-out tracks for me from the beginning is "Catwalk" because of its approach to the rock standard. It brings familiarity to their album along with the third single "Shameless" because of its R.E.M.- like approach. Well, at first, but that changes with the chorus. I find this album very enjoyable, but as I've said in another review, I tend to overthink the technical parts of these things and I have difficulty immersing myself into it. What I will say is that a quarter into the album, I adjust to its ebbs and flows so that when it gets to "Black Wine White Coffee", I feel like I'm in the tempest of a Jefferson Airplane record.
"Got Enough" Music Video
I feel that with this track that there's more of a leaning into the mediation sounds of their instruments, with Neil and Mikael as the face of the video. When we look at the lyrics, there's an exchange of giving what you've got and being fine with it being taken away. It's always going to be our fate, but there's also the pleasantries that follow the turbulence. One can't have one without the other. This album is about life, and what can sum life up better than that?
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Let's go through the instruments credited.