Alien Skin


Author Kage Alan has already reviewed my previous two Alien Skin albums, as well as Real Life's 'Imperfection' (2004), today he adds his thoughts about 'Ghost In The Rain' (2012). Thanks Kage!

Re-enter the Delightfully Hypnotic World of Alien Skin

Forget for the moment what you know about traditional label-released albums and music. Why? Because there's no easy way to describe the Alien Skin albums except to say that they don't fit into the category I just mentioned. First and foremost, these are labors of love from writer/vocalist/musician George Pappas. He has no record company standing over him demanding he work with specific producers while the bean counters expect a number of hits to justify their investment. Throw that idea right out the window. Alien Skin exists because he wants it to and because he invests himself in it.

Ghost in the Rain is his third outing here and much like the other two albums (Don't Open Till Doomsday and The Unquiet Grave), might best be thought of as musical and lyrical poetry combined into one unmistakable sound. Think of Alien Skin as a very large mansion and each album is akin to exploring rooms within the expanse of its grounds. And no, it's absolutely not pretentious. This is years of experience being channeled into artistry. Each track manages to sound sparse, yet the more you listen to it, the more layered you realize it truly is and the more it builds. Ghost in the Rain and Brigitte are two tracks that comes readily to mind as examples of this.

Prepare yourself, too, to listen to the album as a whole rather than picking out favorites for your iPod Shuffle. As with the previous two releases, Ghost in the Rain is best experienced as a whole. George Pappas manages to set a specific mood while making each track sound unique, yet part of the whole. Between the surreal Perfect World to the romanticism of the music in Candy Lips (combined with lyrics suggesting anything but romance going on with the object of the song itself), you may--as I did--find yourself sitting there contemplating just what exactly is going on in this world he's created.

Be careful what questions you ask, though. Once Ghost in the Rain draws you in, telling yourself "It's only an's only an album..." may not help you escape its delightfully hypnotic-like qualities.

~Kage Alan

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