Pin It
Favorite

Ray LaMontagne: Gossip in the Grain 

Ray LaMontagne: Gossip in the Grain

click to enlarge Image
  • Image
Ray LaMontagne got his groove back. His new album, Gossip in The Grain, is by no means breaking new ground, but with soul singers leaning on a wall of horns in the upbeat opener "You are the Best Thing," Ray sets a mood much more akin to his debut Trouble than to the beautiful bleakness of 2006's Till the Sun Turns Black.

Boys, this album is the perfect record for a fall romance. "Let it be Me" is sweet song of encouragement. Leona Naess's harmonies on the ballad "A Falling Through," accented by the pedal steel, are heart-melting. "I Still Care for You" evokes a windblown, empty graveyard apology. "Hey Mama, Hey Me" is a countrified ragtime singalong, so put this on when you drive your date to the Terrebone Corn Maze. "Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's a Shame)" grunts and travels like a steam engine, and will help warm you up afterwards ... maybe even steam the windows.

If things get too serious, just put on Track Six. "Meg White" has a quirky, Andrew Bird-meets-Strawberry Fields feel-a rollicking flirt of a stalker song. Ray just wants to ride bikes on the beach with the White Stripes drummer; when he sings "old Jack was keen, but you stole the scene," you can't help but chuckle.

This record continues LaMontagne's homage to Otis Redding and Joe Cocker. His somewhat predictable songwriting is forgiven by the timeless sound and musicianship surrounding each song. Ray's voice trumps all; it is the gold standard in all his albums. The complexities carried in his voice rival that of human touch. His voice can hold your hand tightly till it bruises, leave scratches, or, as in both the title and closing tracks, bring gentle kisses. - Kaycee Anseth Townsend


Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Features

  • A Musical Journey, With a Pitstop in Bend

    A Musical Journey, With a Pitstop in Bend

    The Avett Brothers continue to expand their style, while also maintaining that signature sound
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • Constantly Creative

    Constantly Creative

    Oakland's Foxtails Brigade dips into all kinds of media, from film-style music videos to podcasts, and of course, experimental pop music
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • Emotional Payoff

    Emotional Payoff

    This Island Earth preps for three concept albums that follow a distinct narrative
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • More »

More by Mike Bookey

Readers also liked…

  • Gangstagrass Preview

    Gangstagrass Preview

    Bluegrass meets hip-hop at the 2016 Oregon WinterFest
    • Feb 3, 2016
  • Boss Baptism

    Boss Baptism

    Thirty-eight years on E Street
    • Mar 9, 2016

© 2017 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation