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Music Review - `THE GODS AND GHOSTS OF BLEAKER STREET` by Tom MacLear (jm)

Tom MacLear- THE GODS AND GHOSTS OF BLEAKER STREET (click on image to watch video)

 9 November 2020



There’s no escaping the fact that the phrase “Spoke Word Album” reeks of pretentiousness. It’s right up there with “Rock Opera”. But surprisingly, composer, poet and filmmaker Tom MacLear manages to turn in a 10-track spoken word record that is remarkably (almost) entirely stripped of self-importance.

The Gods And Ghosts Of Bleaker Street, featured in MacLear’s in development musical screen play, comes across as a modern interpretation of one of Tom Waits’ records for the 1970s, complete with the echoing stand-up bass and the lonely sax competing with subtle piano. Lyrically, the tracks here owe just as much to beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg as they do to Waits and former Bleecker Street regular Bob Dylan, all via MacLear’s powerfully soothing delivery. 

The Gods And Ghosts Of Bleaker Street likely comes as a surprise to fans of MacLear who announced his retirement from touring after appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2018. Apparently, that break gave him the time he needed to resurrect this long in the making album. The record closes out with the strongest track, “Gods And Ghosts,” and the one song here that departs from the standard spoken word format in favor of a more traditional musical set up. With just 10 songs, MacLear has managed to make spoken word albums interesting again. 


Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here




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