Elevate Difference

Whisper of a Newborn Ghost

On Whisper of a Newborn Ghost, the K23 Orchestra combines 70s style rock with spoken word. Described as a “unique blend of funk, rock, Latin, jazz fusion and spoken word,” the K23 Orchestra aims high, with thoughtful lyrics and talented musicians. However, the combination never gels and the songs drag on for far too long.

Many of the songs on Whisper of a Newborn Ghost are filled with descriptions of angst experienced under the reign of Bush. The first song, “Big in El Portal,” describes a yearning to escape. The chorus is “Awake/I’ll break out this city/Make my escape.” The verses depict disgust at the state of the nation and the use of rhetoric to brainwash the people: “Robin Hood fed his child and got thrown in jail/Another man kills a thousand and his approval ratings sail.”

The second song on the album, “Whoop Tee Dee,” addresses the way that the term “freedom” has been twisted to suit the needs of politicians. “Please cease misusing the word freedom” is repeated three times in the beginning of the song. The lines “We crave what we don’t need and cannot afford/As freedom flaunts finance in the face of the poor” articulate how materialism has clouded American eyes.

This song, like others on the album, contains a good analysis of the issues, but unfortunately, the length of the song overshadows the meaning. The lyrics begin to blend together, and after listening to more than one song, they all begin to sound the same. This is not aided by long instrumental sections in the songs.

Lyrically, the K23 Orchestra has a lot to offer. The words are poetry, and the topics of the poems are relevant and needed. The K23 Orchestra is, in their own words, creating a message of “social change through music and art.” If they want this message to be received, it needs to be curtailed.

Written by: Shelby Smith, March 10th 2007