Gossip In The Grain review by Ray LaMontagne

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  • Released: Oct 14, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (20 votes)
Ray LaMontagne: Gossip In The Grain
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Sound — 9
A happier more upbeat Ray? Well maybe for the first song. The new album, "Gossip In The Grain," opens with a quicker paced horn laced track that is a bit of a departure from most of the heart breaking soulful ballads that were seen on his first two records. Ray does not completely leave that familiar style behind, it is still very much present and accounted for, the song "A falling through" showcases that style very well. However, Gossip In The Grain delivers a wide range of sounds. The presence of the slide guitar on a number of tracks gives a very spacial resonance that borders on psychedelic Pink Floyd-esque sounds. Conversely, the term "folk," gets thrown around too loosely when describing genres, but the tracks "Hey me, hey mama" and "Henry nearly killed me(It's a shame)," show exactly what old southern folk music is. All in all, the sounds on this album are vast, but they are all Ray.

Lyrics — 10
Ray has been compared to many of the best song writers ever, in a recent article, John Mayer was quoted as saying, "If you want to know a songwriter's songwriter, and a singer's singer, it's Ray." I should be writing songs when his CDs are playing. "I do not know what more that can be said about Ray's lyrics. The lyrics are honest and heart felt, and that is all anyone can ask from a songwriter. My personal favorite song on the new album is "Let It Be Me," lyrically I describe it as a modern day reimagining of the classic "Lean on Me." The line, "When all your faith is gone, it feels like you can't go on, let it be me," displays that concept perfectly. Though not all the song are so serious and sorrowful, Ray does have a very tongue and cheek song on the album entitled "Meg White," a nod to the White Stripes drummer. This track is a lot of fun, with lines such as "Meg White, your the bomb, old Jack is great, don't get me wrong, but this is your song." Overall, if you are looking for an album with great lyrics, you are not going to do much better than Ray Lamontagne.

Overall Impression — 8
I would give "Gossip in the grain," an 8/10. I still think that his last album, "Til The Sun Turns Black," is a better all around album, but Ray's newest record does not dissapoint. I have always said that there needs to be a seperate section in record stores titled, "Just Real Music," and Ray Lamontagne would absolutely be deserving of being in that category. Hyperbole aside, "Gossip In The Grain" is well worth your time and money.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    deansouthpaw
    Ray LaMontagne is awesome. Amazing voice. Amazing songwriter. He's at least worth sampling on iTunes. His first album "Trouble" is amazing and a must-own.
    captaincrunk
    Proofreading makes you seem more intelligent. By the way, loved the quotes, why don't more people use quotes???
    SixStrings
    I wish there were more news and reviews on artist like this! I have been a huge fan of Ray Lamontagne ever since I saw his television debut on David Letterman singing "Trouble". If you have never heard of Ray please listen to a sample online somewhere and see what you think. This guy is such a talent, and if he would have come out 35 years or so ago, people would be calling him a legend, but unfortunately this time in music is one that in which you have to go through great lengths to come across great talent, or just stumble upon them with luck! All 3 albums of Ray's are a must have!
    illtrixtaj
    I am from the next town over from where he started playing publicly here in Maine so I've had the pleasure of watching him bloom into what he is today...and he's still not reached his full potential. He is a great singer/songwriter...he moves me in a way that kind of sneaks up on me...like at the end of a movie when you're with your girlfriend and you dont want to show that youre getting misty-eyed...but you just can't help it...It's not many artists that can encompass that "bite your lip and move on" type of songwriting...the kind that really gets you. Ray gets it man, he GETS it.
    girl-tarist
    Ray is the man. I can't get enough of his voice, his lyrics, his musicianship! Gossip in the Grain is a great album.
    buray1975
    just seen ray the other night. the man doesnt say much but when he sings he demands your attention. ive never heard a voice like it, even when he whispers there is so much emotion. when he played winter birds i felt like i was transported somewhere else and forgot i was surrounded by hundreds. a true gem the man loves his music and it comes across in spades.