Kepi Ghoulie - American Gothic (Cover Artwork)

Kepi Ghoulie

American Gothic (2008)

Asian Man

Kepi Ghoulie's album American Gothic is pure gold. I'm never one to go for folky stuff or majority acoustic albums, so Kepi has obviously broken some sort of mold with this album -- at least the mold holding me back from folk music. With help from all his friends including Kevin Seconds, this album brings together a ton of lovely voices and sounds that almost guarantees a smile from anyone with a soul.

Kepi, of the amazing pop-punks Groovie Ghoulies, breaks away from the constant fast-paced drumming and exchanges bass for acoustic guitar to slow things down a whole lot with American Gothic. He has an intriguing voice that would mesmerize you even if the entire album was a cappella.

While some of it might seem a little too sugary and sweet -- especially the simple high-school style "I like a girl, does she like me?"-type lyrics on "This Friend of Mine" -- there are also tracks that can be equally slow and sad-sounding, such as the bittersweet, piano-drenched "Stormy Weather." The song features lyrics like "I'm preparing my heart for re-breaking / I'm not sure what's left or what it's capable of taking." Even though the track tends to be slightly poppy, it will still put a lump in your throat and beat up on your tear ducts.

The album also features a handful of covers: "True Love Will Find You in the End" by Daniel Johnston; "Take a Look" by Dan Schafer; and "To Sing for You" by Donovan. You'll probably appreciate this entire album if you're a fan of either.

Accompanied by his guitar, Kepi turns American Gothic into one mesmerizing machine that can get you clapping and moving at times, or lure you peacefully to sleep at others. I wouldn't mind having him sing me to sleep every night.