Gossip in the Grain

Studio Album by released in 2008
Gossip in the Grain's tracklist:
You Are the Best Thing
Let It Be Me
I Still Care for You
Winter Birds
Meg White
Hey Me, Hey Mama
Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's a Shame)
A Falling Through
Gossip in the Grain

Gossip in the Grain review

Ray LaMontagne has really found his true vocation

American folk singer and songwriter Ray LaMontagne is one of the most interesting and unusual performers of the present days already called by many a new great American poet. Since childhood he was different from the others, did bad at school and had practically no friends for his mother with her children always moved from place to place looking for a job. Ray himself went to Main with the same objective to find a job at a shoe factory and would still remain there if he did not hear Stephen Stills' song Treetop Flyer one morning. Buying his album Ray decided to quit job and pursue a music career. His first two albums Trouble and Till the Sun Turns Black have proved so successful that nobody doubted any more that he has really found his true vocation. A raspy voice, soft manner of performance and smart lyrics have attracted a solid fan base to him. This autumn Ray LaMontagne’s third studio work Gossip In The Grain is released to become the most varied, emotional and expressive of all.

Gossip In The Grain can be called short by no means

Just like the previous albums Gossip In The Grain was recorded with the participation of a group of musicians including bassist Jennifer Condos, guitarist Eric Haywood and drummer Ethan Johns, Ray LaMontagne’s long time friend and also the album’s producer. As for its general atmosphere, if Till the Sun Turns Black was a bit sullen album there appears a ray of hope and optimism on Gossip In The Grain. Although the record consists of ten tracks only it can be called short by no means for the minimum length of the songs here is five minutes. It opens with a nice mid-tempo song You Are The Best Thing, refined with amazing tubes and great back vocals whereas Sarah is a somewhat sadder piece yet full of pleasant reminiscences. Singer Leona Naess joins Ray on two most beautiful slow compositions I Still Care For You and A Falling Through, sad good-bye songs devoted to a former beloved. Acoustic ballad Winter Birds pleases with a complicated tune and one of the album highlights is a country composition Hey Me, Hey Mama, telling of the musicians’ relationship with his parents. The album closes with the title song similar to a children’s lullaby surprising with a splendid instrumental background and an ethereal sounding of LaMontagne’s soft vocals.

A mysterious personality

Since the very beginning of Ray LaMontagne’s career has engaged in charity, in particular, he once sold his guitar on an auction which quickly brought him fame of a renowned philanthropist. He is also famous for his outstanding character that is especially notable on his live performances: LaMontagne prefers to perform in a full darkness which kind of isolates him from the audience and usually does not speak to the viewers during the pauses between the songs. Besides this is such a mysterious personality that nobody actually knows where Ray lives today and he has made practically no interviews during his career. It may well be that it is his self-isolation help the artist remain himself and write so frank and soulful songs. Gossip In The Grain is also a good example in this respect for here one can find a number of compositions from which we can learn even more of this man’s destiny and his views on life that has not always been sweet to him. Hopefully, LaMontagne’s next work will not make us wait long for everyone is curios what else this unique performer has to offer.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (22.10.2008)
Rate review4.38
Total votes - 18

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