Posted October 24, 2017
By stephaniejtay, Staff Reviewer
Husband and wife duo The Gray Havens is bringing back their Ghost of a King album--this time live. All of the songs from the studio album were captured on the road as they toured across the Midwest, South and Northeast regions of the country to various college campuses, recruiting college string players to play with them. The live version features all of the elements featured in a performance setting, inviting you into the audience with moments of speaking between songs, applause from the audience and interludes throughout the album that allow room between songs.
The Gray Havens have succeeded at illustrative songwriting, as if you were opening a novel and hearing sung what's been written, and the live version allows the listener to embark on their story with them. "Ghost in the Valley," "Shadows of the Dawn" and title track "Ghost of a King" compose the first band of songs on the album that take listeners on a journey with their storytelling lyrics. "Ghost of a King" sings "So I knelt beside the river / And I drank until I drank until I drank until I died / But something in the water / Must have brought me back / it brought me back / It brought me back to life."
The album also features the duo's abilities that stretch outside of their folk, novel-like songs, including "Band of Gold," which is a beautiful wedding song duet, and "Go," another beautiful and heartfelt ballad that gives way to a touch of pop and use of electronic sounds. "This My Soul" is strikingly powerful with lyrics that paint an incredible picture of the fallen state of humanity we're all born into, the promise of a Savior and the fulfillment of that promise: "This my soul you were born / You were born into / What this man has done / It all extends to you / Let the words shake on down along your spine / And ring out true that you might find / new life."
"At Last, the King" is another powerful illustration of Jesus, the King, coming to earth, featuring both Jesus and the Serpent as characters who have a conversation throughout the song. The story is told from Jesus' birth to the temptations He endured and His ultimate mission on earth.
The album also features live recordings of fan favorites from previous albums, including "Silver," "Far Kingdom" and "Train Station," to wrap up the album.
The Bottom Line: The Gray Havens bring their powerful and vivid storytelling skills to life with the live version of Ghost of a King. Their lyrical talents paired with their vocal skill and ability to bring the listener into almost a musical novel will take the listener on a journey to a land they will not soon forget.
Song to Download Now:
"This My Soul" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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