REVIEW: Farewell Flight – ‘I Was A Ghost’

Artist: Farewell Flight
Album: I Was a Ghost
Genre: Pop Rock

Like most people who spend their free time between college classes and work shifts writing for music websites, I was deeply involved in my local music scene in high school, playing in bands, helping out at local venues, and booking shows. Among my favorite memories from those years are the nights when Farewell Flight would play at our little coffee shop. With an upbeat, infectious debut album, titled Sound Color Motion, and a stellar live show, the Pennsylvania natives made such an impression on our little scene in central Illinois that old classmates, to this day, still ask me when they’re coming through town next.

Of course, it’s been a long time since high school, and even longer since the release of Sound Color Motion. In the interim, Farewell Flight have released a second album, 2011’s Out For Blood, temporarily changed their name, and relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Some things never change, however, and one of those things is their knack for writing catchy and heartfelt pop rock. That much is immediately clear from “Scarecrow,” the opening track on the band’s latest EP, I Was a Ghost. The immaculately produced song begins as a plaintive ballad and builds its way to a stomping conclusion. Along the way, frontman Luke Foley spins a painfully relatable story of a failed relationship through blunt, confessional lyrics like, “Remember when you were mine? I was twenty, you were nineteen, and we were mapping out our whole life. Should I have married you then? Have you forgotten my name? And tell me, out of all the lips you’ve kissed, have mine tasted or felt the same?”

Much of the record’s thirty-minute runtime is a variation on the elements that make “Scarecrow” so great. Between an ode to the carefree joy of young love on “Teenager,” the lush bed of harmonies on “The Places We’ll Go,” and the bubbling, nostalgic title track, I Was a Ghost does everything you want a solid pop rock album to do, and it often does it very well. There is a depth to the melodies and arrangements that only comes with years of honing a craft, and after a long period of industry woes that prevented Farewell Flight from releasing new music, it’s clear that they poured their all into these seven songs.

Despite all of its high points, I Was a Ghost does have some weak moments, particularly when Foley falls back on clichéd imagery and uninspired rhymes. “Breaking My Heart” is the worst offender in that category, and it’s the album’s only glaring fault. “Everything Changed” suffers from some of the same issues, but it is at least partially redeemed by strong guitar work.

Criticisms aside, it’s great to see Foley and company back at it again. Based on the background information on the Kickstarter page used to fund the album, the band seem to be in a much better place than they were for the last couple years, and it shows throughout I Was a Ghost. If there’s more where that came from (and there almost certainly is), then don’t be surprised when you hear a lot more from Farewell Flight in the coming months and years.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by Troy Sennett – Follow him on Twitter

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