There’s something about Australia, I am not sure what is it but all their musicians find the way to always build up the momentum, write songs so unique that’s starting to scare the hell out of me. Even when they make a song like “Beds Are Burning”, a track that has all the needed elements to become a disaster and would turn any band into a joke; somehow it has become one of the greatest songs of the 80s.
Influenced by the greatest, from Dylan to Elliott Smith, Sydney’s Robert Nash is trying to breakthrough on a harder as-time-goes-by industry with his new material The Ghost Of Your Old Love. The title defines the whole album – complex lyrics and storytelling sang by what at first instance sounds like the ghost of an old lover.
Armed with his acoustic guitar, what stands out on this record is Robert Nash’s haunting vocals reminiscent of Rob’s icon Elliott Smith. My favorite tracks were definitely “Leaves Are Falling”, the way how Nash blends his ethereal voice with the acoustic guitar, and the piano hints is a phenomenal addition. The other one is “Copenhagen”, it gives fresh air to an album that started off great but slowly falls flat.
Now, if I had to give a constructive thought or criticism to this record, it would have to be the vocals. Yes, I know it sounds like a contradicting myself but here’s the thing, I am a person who has zero issues with “deadpan” or “haunting” vocals -in fact, some of my greatest artists are known for doing this-, but personally for me that’s more than just a style, is a craft you have to work and shape. While I have to admit I loved it at first, as songs went by Nash’s voice turned a bit tedious. Music changed, great arrangements and production work but he kept playing pretty much on the same range tone without changing the harmonies or anything, there wasn’t any dynamism. That totally turned me off. So maybe for his next record he could try to play with his vocals a little more.
Wrapping up, this man has a great talent and definitely if he works hard, a bright future ahead. The road to success is filled with obstacles, therefore it shouldn't come as surprise that this record has its flaws, but at the end Robert Nash finds the way to remain standing and I am sure if you give it a shot you might definitely become a fan. Doesn't have the magic that Damien Rice's O or 9 has, but it has some great tricks in it.