– Album name: Private Paradise
– Artist name: Space Ghost
– Label: Pacific Rhythm
– Release Date: March 21 2022
– My grade: 5/5
– Buy digital copy on Bandcamp: $10.00
I decided to kick off my vinyl record reviews with Space Ghost’s Private Paradise mainly because it was already cued up on the turntable, left over from Friday night when my neighbours messaged me on their way back from the city to let me know they were going to pop in to help me finish a bottle of rose I was drinking. It was a natural wine which I don’t usually like, but from Provence, which I do usually like.
I was excited to taste the notes of lavender which the label proudly claimed this wine was infused with. Unfortunately my palette let me down, but honestly after a couple of glasses I become far less discerning.
The living room was not available for entertaining as Bruce was in there losing his shit at the Knicks as they gave away game six and I didn’t want anyone witnessing the mild breakdown that was materialising there.
And so a chance for me to show off my music collection and my self proclaimed super power – being able to pick the right music for the right audience and right situation.
But what was the right mood for this spontaneous gathering? Nothing too slow, that would also satisfy the crowd whilst playing in the background. Some tempo, some repetitious beats, nothing to take away from the conversation, but cool enough for anyone who is tuned in to background music to stop and ask what it is.
As it happens it was stoop weather in Brooklyn so we took our drinks to the front steps, swatting away the first mosquitos of the season, sweating slightly and trying to prevent the condensation from causing slippage on the glasses that we gripped tight as we greeted passers by.
And my carefully curated parlor, dimmed lights, saged, and Space Ghost remained as I had left it when I ran to open the front door. Untouched, unappreciated, unacknowledged until today, Sunday afternoon, when I decided to break the seal on album reviews and there was Space Ghost’s Private Paradise already cued up on the turntable.
I don’t remember now how I got to this record. It arrived in December last year, along with another record from a vendor on Discogs. I don’t know why I picked it. Maybe I was drawn to the album cover, or maybe it was presented to me as something else I would like from that same record store?
I probably checked it out on Bandcamp and listened to the first few bars of the first few songs, and hit purchase. I can usually tell pretty quickly if I am going to enjoy something. Sometimes I get it wrong, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.
I couldn’t tell you what I heard from those first few beats that spoke to me about this album, but I am glad that it is now part of my collection.
The album itself gives me summer vibes, maybe sitting in a cafe overlooking the Mediterranean.
I can enjoy it by myself, just sitting and appreciating the sounds, the beats, weaving between them, but I also think it would be great for when you have people over for something buoyant and carefree, but not too distracting that it brings you out of the conversation.
I would not call this dance music, but I do find my shoulders going, and then maybe a foot tap here and there. There is no spontaneous clapping, which is usually the sign for me that this is going to go off.
The album plays with the listener, some tracks falling into the ambient category that lures you into the rest of the album, deep and bedecked with chimes and synths. The tracks build up and take you back, lazily and steadily taking you on a journey. It is lethargic and invigorating at once.
The ambience of the album is always there, underlying the more dancey tracks, and I think this is what keeps the album moving, it’s the theme and driver, and makes for a holistic listening experience.
It was thrilling for me hearing this for the first time, not remembering why I had picked it, or what mood I was in at the time of purchase. I am so happy to have this in my collection and I find myself going back to it again and again. It fits so many occasions and really takes me somewhere else.
I am still working out how to grade and review my music collection. For me it’s mainly how tracks and songs make me feel at any given time, and the alignment between mood, environment, and situation is so important that it’s hard to give anything a grade. Something that could be 5 stars one day, may only be a 1 star on another.
Having said that, I do think this album fits most moods and situations. I can’t imagine putting this on and then immediately swapping it out for something else because I misjudged my mood.
I guess that makes it a 5 star album. Highly recommended. A good addition to anyone’s record collection.