These Beautiful Ghosts is the long-awaited first solo studio record from the singer of 90s shoegazers Ride. Since their implosion in 1996, Mark Gardener has been playing solo shows, and is backed up here by fellow Brits Goldrush, who provide a country sway to his light, guitar-based pop songs. There's a hint of Gardener's pedigree in the textured feel of the instruments and voices, but with songs that go nowhere and vapid, repetitive lyrics, this record feels aimless and uninspiring. It's aiming for greatness, beauty and transcendent moments but fails to fulfill its promise.
Mark Gardener plays Lee's Palace Wednesday (December 7).