Album Reviews: Smilo & the Ghost // Fingers Crossed & Godspeed
4.25 Stars out of 5
Tyler Smilo, always the prolific songwriter, continues to grow and mature seemingly from album to album. On the second full-length album from his folk outfit Smilo & the Ghost, Fingers Crossed & Godspeed mines some of the catchiest moments in the talented artist's career, with all the heart and passion that fans have come to expect. For this album, Smilo's voice, in particular, seems more natural and free of affectations, abandoning some of the warbling howls that he used to gravitate towards. Here we see Smilo at his most vocally pure. The songs here are also some of his most lovable. This is because of — not in spite of — their heartfelt emotionality. There's the sober ruminations of "Whiskey Speaks," leading into the passionate pleas of "Hideaway King," both early standout tracks. From the uptempo, dust-stomping frenzy of "Hollar Below," to the gang-vocals and biographical examination of "Ohio," there's not a wasted track amidst these 11. Backed by expert musicians Adam McKillip, Jassen Wilber, and Dominick DeCecco, Smilo & the Ghost have found the perfect balance. Be sure to check out the band's album release party on Nov. 13 at Altered State Distillery.
— Nick Warren