It’s nice when the title of an album goes beyond simply repeating the artist’s name, a song on the album or some throw away phrase and instead gives the listener some insight into what it actually sounds like. Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam may not appear to be one of those titles at first glance, but after getting into the album, you can begin to understand what Ghostpoet means with this strange and cryptic title. His debut LP, as simple as the elementary school cafeteria treat, is poisoned with downbeat sadness.
Coming out of London’s south side, Ghostpoet’s laidback drawl does nothing to hide his thick accent, which at times make it border on the edge of sounding monotone. While all of the lyrics are beyond simplistic, no extensive rapping chops are displayed, however such a thing would feel out of place if it were placed over production as elegantly simplistic as this. Ghostpoet’s worldly raps are casual enough to sound soulful. The chorus for “Runrunrun” spreads the advice “Hey, run away/Be a real man and fight another day/I heard that in a TV program so it must be right.” This is laid over slow jazzy organ chords and a drum beat that shows the definition of restraint. Then there is the slow synth line at the beginning of “Survive It” that is reminiscent of the guitar harmonics played at the beginning of “For What It’s Worth” by Dusty Springfield. All of Ghostpoet’s lyrics show that he is not trying to accomplish too much too quickly—in turn making it seem like he may have just done that.
The songs on Peanut Butter Blues barely step out of the realm of down-tempo trip-hop genre pioneered by his countrymen Massive Attack, but Ghostpoet shows that he is close to mastering it. There is something refreshing about an artist that tries to create well written and well produced songs instead of ones that smack you in the face with the frying pan made of catchy hooks, beats and shout-along choruses.