Waterboys New LP & Single

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  Ani DiFranco’s Memoirs

  The State We’re In…

  FOR SAMA DVD Review

  Live Audience Covid Survey

  Welcome Back! But To What?

  Lockdown Read Ravi Shankar

  Chastity Brown GOLDEN Stream

  What Have We Done?

  Roger Waters: US + THEM. Live DVD

  The Strokes Are Back!

  A RISK TOO FAR

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  New Album Reviews

  Clem Snide, An LP For Now

  Montreux Jazz Fest at Home!

  Photojournalism Hero

  Samantha Fish Live

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  The Struts Live

  Camden Rocks 2019 - Day 2

  Camden Rocks 2019 - Day 1

  Sting & Shaggy Live

  Blancmange & Bernholz Live

  Ana Popovic, Lynne Jackaman Live

  David Gray Live in Liverpool

  The Slow Readers Club Live

  Isreal Nash & Joana Serrat Live

  Karine Polwart Trio Live

  Spear Of Destiny Live

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  Anna Burch Live

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Stick In The Wheel Live

  Halo Maud, Baxter Dury Live

  Matthew Logan Vasquez Live

  The Barr Brothers Live

  Emily Barker Live in Manchester

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

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  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Beverley Knight Live

  Ludovico Einaudi Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death


Album Reviews

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David Gray GOLD IN A BRASS AGE. IHT Records

With this album, my default position was to do everything differently. I didn’t think ‘this would be a good hook or ‘these lyrics could work for a chorus’. I was keen to get away from narrative. Instead of writing melodies, I looked for phrases with a natural cadence, so that the rhythm began with the words. I re-imagined where a song might spring from and what form it could take.” - David Gray

Having seen Gray perform live in Liverpool just a few days ago I was able to add much more meat to the bones of this wonderful album. Gary seems to have aged little since his opus WHITE LADDER released back in 1998. His four-year break from studio recording seems to have imbued him with fresh and vigorous life, as well as enhanced poetic skill… GOLD IN A BRASS AGE is essentially different in that Gray has wandered away from his traditional musical signature(s) and thrown several new (for him) genres into the melting pot. The opening salvo, ‘The Sapling’, is a blues and gospel tinged piece of musical poetry, albeit with the man’s traditional, acute sense of melody.  So strong is the song’s melody, choruses, backing vocals and his solo performance that it should be bombarding the airwaves right now. Lyrical poetry abounds: “Gonna lay down in the grass/And watch that acorn/Split in two/Slowly take root/While the clock upon the wall/Makes idle boasts/And my mind’s out cruising/Silent coasts.” The song is both memorable and of the highest quality. Gray’s vocal is as passionate as ever and I’m forced top think that this song (and this album) is one of his best ever.

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The title track is next and is endowed with the same melodic strength and meticulous vocal performance. Sod it, it’s another potential radio single! The lyrics are startling: “Pray tell me where that feeloing went/I gave my best by accident/In vain I strive to represent/How much it means/How much it means/How much it means.” Instrumentally and arrangement wise there are several novel moments and especially the recurring and relentless underlying rhythmic thrum. But there’s something else here: Gray is singing about himself, openly and honestly.

The pace slows dramatically with the next song ‘Furthering’ which sort of stumbles along with a country instrumental soundtrack, and a voice that is reflective and conversational. The melody is not as strong but the production (by Ben De Vries) forces one to listen to every syllable. Wonderful! Clattering percussion introduces the more rapidly-paced ‘Rediculous Heart’ which also includes military style snares in a sound that is more stripped down but still highly infectious. Other highlights include the adventurous sound of ‘A Tight Ship’ with its mix of electronics and instruments, bounding rhythm, powerful melody and choruses, clever changes of pace and a classic Gray vocal performance.

Piano led ‘Watching The Waves’ is another great highlight with its contemplative and emotional vibe, slower pace and yet another superb melody. ‘Hall Of Mirrors’ is another adventurous track that combines pop, rock, reggae and folk with a solid rhythmic backdrop. It’s a song that builds and builds with Gray’s voice exploding to match. ‘Mallory’ was my major highlight of Gray’s live show and I’m sure is set to be one of my songs of the year. It harkens back to traditional Gray stylings with a signature melody, wandering keyboard notes, swaying backing vocals and the most infectious choruses.

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With this album Gray has struck a rich new musical vein with every song here hitting the bullseye but also including some of his best ever songs. It’s one thing to sit back and listen to this superb album but witnessing the songs live adds a further dynamic dimension. If you get the chance go see Gray perform to fully appreciate his new music and vintage classics. An album of the year? Oh yes.

5/5

https://www.davidgray.com/

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