The long-anticipated second solo album from Andy Black is finally here and…wow.

We had seen a number of awesome singles released already and it was quickly becoming clear that this record was going to be good. Admittedly, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how good it was going to be.

Despite both being produced by the incredible John Feldmann, The Ghost of Ohio is most definitely not a repeat of The Shadow Side. Both are amazing stand-alone albums in their own right but the sound and vibes of each are totally different.

When you listen to The Ghost of Ohio in full you realise that this is not just an album of great songs – I mean, it is, but it’s so much more than that. The Ghost of Ohio is a symphony, a rock opera that tells a moving and extremely visual story. Listening to it, I could see the scenes in my head as though this entire record was being performed on a theatre stage.

This record takes us on the journey of the character in Black’s debut graphic novel of the same name, but also on the journey of a man who is trying to find himself again. Many of the songs are autobiographical and explore the ideas of connecting with the true version of yourself. We see this with the classic Springsteen-esque rock track ‘The Promise’ and the intensely personal ‘Heaven’, which is a direct love letter to his wife Juliet.

Other highlights (although it was difficult to narrow them down) include ‘Westwood Road’, ‘The Wind & Spark’, and ‘Heroes We Were’. The dark lyrical content of the songs is juxtaposed with the upbeat, earworm riffs. Rather than bring the listener down these songs fill us with hope and the belief that we can do anything we want. We just need to stay true to who we are. Sounds cheesy and cliche but it’s so true.

If for some reason you didn’t feel The Ghost of Ohio the first time round listen to it again. And again. It just gets better each time you hear it.

By Rai Jayne Hearse

A hermit from Up North, Rai spends her time scribbling words, buried under a pile of magazines and cassette tapes. Whenever she does finally emerge from her tiny office she tries to achieve world domination as the bassist of kick-ass punk band Pink Hearse.