Released June 28, 2015
By Rose Morris
Edmonton-based artist Ghoul Ricki’s seven track digital album, Mathematical Proof of Love, is a little folk, a little punk, definitely a little weird, and a whole lot of fun.
Musically, the album feels very folky, with its cello and soft acoustic guitar, and lyrically it feels like a punk album. However, in a few songs such as Equestrian Equation and Ketamine Tikbalang there is a definite glam rock ballad quality to the vocals, which breaks up any monotony within the album and gives the listener those happy David Bowie feelings.
Ghoul Ricki does a great job of capturing the spirit of punk – this album harkens us back to Fat Wreck Chords CD’s in the ‘90’s, the kind that were equal parts angst, poetry, and humour. The sixth track, Skewered by a Narwhal, is a hilarious parody of fame and human arrogance in the form of a detailed description of the way the speaker wants to die (“I don’t want to go out like everyone else / because I’m so fucking special”). There is something really comical about a person trying to be better than everybody else even in death, but it also seems kind of realistic. This song is funny on a very basic level (you know, because it’s about being skewered by a narwhal), but also has some interesting commentary on ego and the human condition.
Mathematical Proof of Love’s dark-folk sound is very unique. This album may be a bit of an acquired taste for some listeners, but its funny-yet-poignant lyrics, poetic soul, and gritty vocals are absolutely worth your attention. While the album ultimately feels overly simplistic instrumentally, Ghoul Ricki’s complex lyrics and genuine feeling make up for any lack in that department. The listener is pulled in by Ricki’s deep, desperation-laced voice, and kept there by the narrative quality of the lyrics. Ricki obviously has a love of wordplay and the English language, which makes for wonderful, carefully crafted lyrics.