If you had told a Ghost fan upon the release of the band’s debut ‘Opus Eponymous’ back in 2011 that a mere five years later, they would be looking at a band more focused on recording and, well, perfecting covers of pop classics from the 70’s & 80’s, they would have told you that you were insane. However, here we are, and in ‘Popestar’, Ghost have taken their spook-tastic, operatic flavour and applied it to a selection of tracks particularly ripe for farming by Papa Emeritus and his gang of Nameless Ghouls.
In the spirit of the band’s 2012 E.P. ‘If You Have Ghost’, the delightfully named ‘Popestar’ features one brand new track, ‘Square Hammer’, alongside four covers, all Ghost-ed up to eleven. These songs include Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘Nocturnal Me’ and, the best track of the collection, The Eurythmic’s ‘Missionary Man’. Taking the formula tried and tested for the band; grand, sweeping organs, powerful, operatic vocals and chunky riffs, the band apply themselves to create covers so dripping in their own distinctive style, you’d swear the band wrote each song personally. Bass lines swing, guitars barrel along and lead vocalist Papa Emiritus provides his signature croon atop each track.
In ‘Popestar’, it is more than likely that Ghost are attempting to give their audience some kind of indication of where they aim to explore next, and after the band’s last, stellar 2015 release ‘Meliora’, things may continue to drift ever closer to a more Euro-pop, anthemic focus, akin to tracks such as ‘He Is’. All that can be said is that if this is the way the band intend to continue their career, we are in for something very, very special the next time Ghost roll around again.
This Ghost article was written by Joey Stoate, a GIGsoup contributor