Nada Surf - Peaceful Ghosts

  • In Quick Fix
  • 09:00 on 31st Oct 2016
  • By Fran JolleyFran Jolley

Nada Surf are a band who have pretty much done it all in their 24 years together; they've been one hit-wonders, written songs in French, made a covers album, a live album, a B-side album and now it's time for their orchestral record - leaving not much else, except maybe a double album rock-opera (fingers crossed...). Peaceful Ghosts was recorded live with the Babelsberg Film Orchestra and the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra and features 13 tracks spanning their seven album long career,  including '80 Windows', 'When I Was Young' and 'Out Of The Dark'.

The first question that comes to mind for most cynical music connoisseurs is why? Do Nada Surf really need to have an orchestral album; does it actually offer anything worthwhile to their tracks or is this just a gimmick to repackage old material? Well it's both. There are around half a dozen tracks on here that actually improve on the original version, like 'Beautiful Beat' and 'Rushing'. Their melodies are given an extra push by the strings. The main issue with the album is that the New Yorkers were always at their best when making fast, guitar-driven pop songs. Many of their slower numbers drag and 'Comes A Time', 'Believe You're Mine' and 'Are You Lightning' are sadly included here. How they decided to not record 'See These Bones' is a mystery, and a few of the faster hit singles would have worked to break up what is a rather the somber record. But out of the 13 tracks on offer there are at least half a dozen beautifully orchestrated pieces of music.

Verdict

The classic twist suits some material more than others. Hit and miss then.
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