Five Shades of Gray

Oh come on, bet you couldn’t resist a title like that either if you were to write about any David Gray albums which you owned? 🙂

So, in 1999, like very many other people, I bought the very wonderful White Ladder. And on the strength of this, I have since bought A New Day At Midnight (2002); Live In Slow Motion (2005); Draw The Line (2009); and Foundling (2010). True to form, I have hardly listened to any of this music until now.

If there’s one thing I like in my music, it’s a juicy oomfy bass line. And great guitar and piano lines. Interesting rhythms. Oh and quality vocals singing thoughtful lyrics. Not forgetting slick scoring and production. Hmmm. I have to say that many of Gray’s tracks are pretty sexy. Not in the Fifty Shades sense, but in the classy, sultry, art house sense.

Take the track Slow Motion from the album Live In Slow Motion for example. It drapes itself around you like a gorgeously swirling velvet cape. The cover version of Say Hello, Wave Goodbye on White Ladder leaves you feeling like you have just emerged barefoot from a nightclub, holding your stillettoes because your feet have finally given up after a fabulous but long night out. The guitar playing on Gossamer Thread on Foundling is so delicate that it sounds like lace is being woven, juxtaposed with rather brutal lyrics about survival.

It seems to me to be pretty remarkable that there is not one single track across all five albums which I do not like. Could I pick an ultimate favourite? It would be tempting to go right back to something from White Ladder but instead, I’ll plump for Freedom from A New Day At Midnight – with one of the juciest, oomfiest, sexiest bass lines of all. A favourite shade of this Gray.

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