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Owen - Ghost Town

  by Paul Waller

published: 28 / 1 / 2012

Owen - Ghost Town
Label: Polyvinyl Records
Format: CD


Atmospheric, but enigmatic sixth album from Owen, the project of Chicago-based musician and guitarist Mike Kinsella, which while answering one question poses several more

Chicago’s Mike Kinsella was an incredibly busy man last year. As well as hitting the road on the drums for his recently reformed second wave emo band Cap’n Jazz he wrote, recorded and has had released by Polyvinyl Records one single and a full length album. What’s more none of this was half hearted or lacklustre. The tour has was a massive success with C'n J playing shows to more people than they did during their original incarnation. Both the 'O, Evelyn' single and this album are slabs of astonishing intricate beauty, the guitar playing on here is some of the most cleverly executed that came out in 2011. In fact, the only track that rubs the wrong way is 'I Believe'. The religious overtones and the subdued intro that just fades in as if the listener has already missed the best part of the song is odd to say the least. It sounds as if Mike has written an overlong outro for a song but has forgotten to write the beginning and middle. This aside, 'Ghost Town' is perhaps the best Owen record yet. Of his five other full lengths I may well still have a soft spot for the delicate 'At Home with Owen' from 2006 but there are so many great songs on this, that one would be hard pressed not to be enchanted by the gentle atmospherics in the opening verses of 'Too Many Moons' or the slow burn of 'An Animal'. The highlight for me is the creeping 'Mother’s Milk Breath' when Kinsella asks “Do you know what desire is?” and “Do you know where your mouth is?” To which the answer is yes, who doesn’t. What an odd thing to ask. 'Ghost Town' is like a particularly frustrating episode of 'Lost'. It answers one question whilst posing many more. Maybe another spin will provide some more answers.

Track Listing:-
1 Too Many Moons
2 No Place Like Home
3 O, Evelyn...
4 I Believe
5 The Armoire
6 An Animal
7 No Language
8 Mother's Milk Breath
9 Everyone's Asleep In The House But Me

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