Gossip in the Grain
Ray LaMontagne shows off a surprising new side on Gossip in the Grain, said Wes Orshoski in Billboard. When the soulful folkie emerged from his Maine farmhouse in 2004 with the emotionally charged Trouble, he seemed a tortured artist in every sense. That debut laid bare a “beaten man, beautifully broke down and busted, full of longing and regret.” On his third album, however, LaMontagne is beginning to see the lighter side and “ready to have at least a little fun.” It is a novel concept for the soft-spoken songwriter, said J. Gabriel Boylan in Spin. Known for plaintive, heart-wrenching ballads, LaMontagne lets loose and “gets a bit more expansive here.” On “You Are the Best Thing,” longtime producer Ethan Johns “turns down the Cat Stevens and pumps up the Sam Cooke,” fleshing out LaMontagne’s sound with female backup singers and “juking his earthy rasp with Stax-y horns.” “Meg White” is a love letter to the White Stripes drummer, complete with a crude, “Stripes-worthy” stomp. Too often, though, LaMontagne falls back into balladry when he could’ve used more time out of his shell, said Greg Kot in Entertainment Weekly. LaMontagne sounds good “even without good songs,” but this album could have used a few more.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- 10 things you need to know today: September 22, 2014
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Can the U.S. Army degrade and destroy Ebola?
Subscribe to the Week