Ray LaMontagne's debut record Trouble was hailed by
many, including some here at Hybrid Magazine, as an instant classic.
The music was solid and filled with probably the finest soul vibe
found in any recording over the past twenty years. LaMontagne's newest,
Till The Sun Turns Black, is a departure from that classic
soulful sound. Instead, on this latest record, Ray turns towards a
more introspective sound, revealing more of his personality and intrinsic
quirkiness. This album features songwriting that is far superior to
that found on Trouble and replaces the classic sound with music
of a more refined and timeless quality.
LaMontagne's voice is just as soulful and rich, but the songs have
a mellower and easier feeling to them. One listen to the album's opener
"Be Here Now" is proof enough of that. The orchestration
on Till The Sun Turns Black is elegant and rich, eclipsing
the brilliant pop of such contemporaries as Duncan Sheik and
Johnathan Rice. "Empty" is a fitting title for a
song that hangs so much resigned melancholy on its folds that if you're
feeling emotionally vulnerable, you may well end up hanging your head
and crying. By the time the soulful and late 60's Motown vibe of "Three
More Days" kicks in, the upbeat tempo is a welcome change, even
though lyrically LaMontagne remains in a darker mode than on his previous
release. The organ and sweet drumming turns this song into one of
Ray's instant classics. "Can I Stay" is a deeply personal
song that lays tranquil melodies alongside some of the most emotionally
charged lyrical phrasing I've heard recently.
Fans of Ray LaMontagne's Trouble will definitely find music
they can enjoy on Till The Sun Turns Black
songwriting is far more mature, with songs of a much greater depth
and personality. "Gone Away From Me" has a very Simon
And Garfunkel vibe, steady and strong, while "Lesson Learned"
is possibly the most personal song LaMontagne has ever penned.
If you like your songwriting with just the right touch of melancholy,
but in a refined and groovy package, then Till The Sun Turns Black
is a record for you. The songs won't tend to make you want to get
up and shake your moneymaker, but they will soothe your weary soul
and let you realize that there is immense beauty amidst all the pain.
1. Be Here Now
4. Three More Days
5. Can I Stay
6. You Can Bring Me Flowers
7. Gone Away From Me
8. Lesson Learned
9. Truly, Madly, Deeply
10. Till The Sun Turns Black
11. Within You
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