The latest album ‘Ghost Republic’ by Robert Fisher, working under the moniker of Willard Grant Conspiracy, offers one of the musician’s most finest and intimate studio albums so far. Following on from the 2009 release of ‘Paper Covers Stone’, Fisher presents the companion piece to the Ghost Republic film project. Combining Fisher’s brilliant acoustic style, with bittersweet lyrics and wonderful backing musicians, Willard Grant Conspiracy present what is perhaps one of their most intimate and gorgeous of records that in this reviewer’s opinion, surpasses some of Willard Grant Conspiracy’s most recent releases. There’s a beautiful melancholy to most of the tracks, which presents Fisher’s writing talents in a brilliant light.
In some ways, ‘Ghost Republic’ doesn’t differ a great deal from many of Willard Grant Conspiracy’s previous releases. The album is saturated in acoustic tracks often accompanied by violin and other various instruments. It’s a particular style that Fisher has utilized to make work for himself, and one that presents his music in an incredibly beautiful way. Fisher’s particular style seems to stand out a great deal from other working within the same genre, and I’d attribute this to the emotional depth within Willard Grant Conspiracy’s music. ‘Ghost Republic’ opens up with a gorgeous acoustic track accompanied by the violin. The instrumental piece sets the way for the rest of the album, which goes from strength to strength as Fisher just sings and lets his own music do the talking for him. It’s a wonderful album that would easily please fans of this very under-rated musician.
The only problem I find with ‘Ghost Republic’ is that one or two of the tracks seem to sound a bit off and not work well in the overall scope of the album. In particular, I find one particular track, which features a different vocalist, to simply be a little bit to jarring to work well enough for the overall album. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the track itself, whose instrumentals and vocal style work very well as a good stand-alone song. It seems though that the effect of having the vocals go from one style to another on the album is just a little bit to jarring for it to work well for the overall album. It doesn’t bring the overall album’s rating down, though it seems to be a point of interest ,as it is one of the few moments that doesn’t seem to work.
I find ‘Ghost Republic’ to perhaps be one of Willard Grant Conspiracy’s best works to date. What is really lovely here is that the album itself doesn’t come across as an effort to simply outdo every previous Willard Grant Conspiracy record, but rather it is an addition to an already lovely and accomplished discography. Everything on the record just works incredibly well, with the instrumentals in particular sounding like some of Willard Grant Conspiracy’s best since 2006’s ‘Let It Roll’. It is simply an album that features incredibly strong music, and one that just speaks for itself, without insisting itself upon anybody who listens. It certainly reaffirms as well why Willard Grant Conspiracy will always be one of my favourite acts out there, as the honesty and integrity of their music is just sublime.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Above The Treeline
- Rattle & Hiss
- Good Morning Wadlow
- Oh We Wait
Willard Grant Conspiracy’s latest album ‘Ghost Republic’ is out now.