KRISTOFFER GILDENLÖW – LET ME BE A GHOST – NEW JOKE
Born and raised in Sweden, multi-instrumentalist Kristoffer now lives in The Netherlands, playing in Kayak. Many people still think of him as being associated with his brother Daniel, and he played on the first six Pain of Salvation studio albums but since leaving in 2006 has built a reputation working with many different artists. ‘Let Me Be A Ghost’ is his fourth solo album, released towards the end of 2021, following on from ‘Rust’ (2012), ‘The Rain’ (2016) and ‘Homebound’ (2020). I reviewed the last, and I was intrigued at just how much at home he sounded with the one cover, Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2”
I many ways this is a logical extension of that album, as it is melancholic, and is something which really needs to be played on headphones. The songs are more like soundscapes, with a huge use of space and a slow tempo which really lets the listener into what in many ways feels likes quite a private world. Yes, there are a few additional singers and a drummer, but for the most part this is one person sat quietly, crafting something which is magical and mystical. “Lean On Me” is a case in point, gentle percussion, acoustic guitar, electric solo, and loads and loads of vocals including a wonderful high female from Erna auf der Haar who provides the perfect cut through.
This is not something designed to be played on the radio, nor can I imagine it ever being played in an arena, but is designed for small places, in the dark where the listener can really let their mind wander where it will. This is a marvellous piece of work and I look forward to the next album with great interest indeed.
9/10 Kev Rowland