There is not much more of a valuable lesson than to be proven wrong. That enlightening result is amplified tenfold when it comes to being pleasantly surprised after making a wrongful assumption upon one’s first impressions. This turned out to be especially true upon the discovery of a new, industrious album by a band called Ghost Ship. Immediately, the mind is struck with an image of an exaggerated scene in which several middle-aged men dressed as ghoulish pirates, each posed in the perfect stance to be captured on an album cover. Nevertheless, that exasperating image aside, Ghost Ship turns out not to be a group of seaworthy specters, but a septet of seasoned worship musicians (their name actually comes from the idea of their fans being ‘vessels’ for the Holy Ghost).
In June of 2013, Ghost Ship honed their various influences and spawned a creation that they firmly believe will allow people to join together, through both religion and music. Entitled The Good King, the unique incarnation of Ghost Ship’s devotion to religion combines their musical influences that span from pop to country. While they utilize a variety of unorthodox instruments, the band coherently weaves together songs that turn the term ‘well-composed’ into an understatement; they just simply work. In fact, the ability to incorporate instruments such as banjos and cathedral organs within the same songs speaks for itself, because such instruments are able to work together so seamlessly. The Good King also includes a few hymns that, in banal terminology, would be considered ‘covers.’ The classic hymns are made completely unique as the enterprising band impresses their own musical stylings upon them. The band’s awareness of dynamics provides a refreshing reminder that musicians are still conscience of the difference between lullabies and breathtaking symphonies, both of which are present on The Good King.
The most inspiring part about The Good King is that Ghost Ship’s message and musicianship can coexist without depreciating one another. The music on this album does not fail to capture the listener’s attention, as it creatively reflects the trends of modern pop music, while simultaneously conveying their religious beliefs. The sheer beauty of their actions can not be captured simply by words. They have found a way to effectively advocate their religion to masses who have been brought together by music. This, in itself, illustrates the dream of every musician, whose fans are completely devoted to their music, as well as the examples they set and the values they promote. If more bands were able to capture such a mystical result from their work, focusing on the sending a message, rather than bulky paychecks and royalties, the world would indefinitely become a better place.