Mar 6, 2011
With every subsequent album, I’m further convinced that Ray Lamontagne is actually a guy who time travelled from the 60’s and decided to become a recording artist in the 21st century. The guy’s voice has enough soul to sound like a relative of Joe Cocker, though not as anguished or powerful. So in comes the 4th installment of Mr. Lamontagne with “Repo Man” and immediately you get a funky soul R & B feeling that sounds better suited to 50 years in the past, but it still works to get your groove on. Then the second track, “New York City’s Killing Me” throws a left curve, including a beautiful slide guitar segment that’s just pure honey to your ears. It’s a country soaked ballad about how a big city kills a good old boy from the country. But when the third track “God Willin & the Creek Don’t Rise” comes around, it’s so dense and moody that you can’t help but let the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. To be honest, it might be one of Lamontagne’s best songs, up there with “Be Here Now” and “Trouble”. Afterwards, you have “Beg Steal or Borrow” which is a midtempo country road trip song and though it’s good, it isn’t stellar. The album has a one two love song duo starting with a sparsely arranged “Are we really through” a really beautiful song that either sounds like a Ray demo, or a song some unknown ultra talented musician would sing under a tree. Next up comes “This Love is Over”, a great song with lots of musical colors thrown into the mix without anything becoming overpowering. From piano, to strings and the lap steel guitars that appear on most of the album, to the weary rasp of Lamontagne’s voice, it’s one of the better tracks on the album and shows what he can do when he hits his stride. Which isn’t to say that this is his best album. To be honest, it isn’t his best album, far from it actually because although the country flavor adds a new dimension, the overall consistency in his previous 3 albums isn’t there. The first song sounds out of place and though it’s really great and one of the top tracks on the setlist, it’s not like there’s any real ebb and flow to the album. Regardless, for not having the flow of a classic, this album still delivers plenty to enjoy.
Highlight Tracks: Repo Man, New York City’s Killing Me, God Willin’& The Creek Don’t Rise, Devil’s in the Jukebox
Posted by Joker at 2:36 PM