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I've been a big David Gray fan (so has my wife) stretching back to the wonderful White Ladder, which sold a million copies in the UK alone. Whilst this wasn't his first album (it was his fourth), it was perhaps when people really noticed him not just as a fantastic singer, but also an extremely talented writer.
We've pretty much stayed with him through the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth albums, seen him live in concert (superb performer) and recommended him to many people along the way.
So what does the 9th album, Foundling offer? It's just been released this August, and whilst I generally have to listen several times before I make judgement, this is one I've already decided on after the first play. I'm disappointed. So is the wife. I listened a 2nd time to make sure, and it didn't improve I'm very sad to say.
Whilst the last album, Draw The Line released in '09 had it's ups and downs, it was generally enjoyable. I tried hard to enjoy any of the songs from Foundling, but it just got me down. While I don't take anything away from the music and the undoubtedly well written lyrics, it just doesn't work for me. It's no fun. It's boring. It's dreary, even depressing. It's forgettable. Even the vocals are a bit suspect at times, it really sounds like David was close to the edge when he recorded this. Many of the songs are about previous lovers so perhaps this explains things.
The strange thing is David thinks it's the best thing he's ever done - although it's just a year since the last album. If his intention is to sound like someone on deaths door, perhaps he's achieved it. To the rest of us though, we don't want to be depressed, we want to be happy. Perhaps remembering the absolute genius of White Ladder and hoping that someday David can create something to equal it is purely a pipedream.
I'm not going to bore you will a list of the tracks (dooyoo has already done that anyway) or any evaluation of each one. I think the album has to work as a whole, and it simply doesn't inspire me to share it with you. By all means have a listen before you decide yourself, but I think you'll be with me on this.
Sorry, David, you'll have to do better than this. This might dip into the album charts momentarily, just because of who he is, and a loyal fan base will undoubtedly lap up anything (as we did). I think it will fall out again just as quickly, as we may see a flood of second hand "bargains" on Ebay/Amazon in no time at all.
Not recommended unless you just have to have everything Mr G does.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Only The Wine
4 Gossamer Thread
5 The Old Chair
6 In God's Name
7 We Could Fall In Love Again Tonight
8 Holding On
9 When I Was In Your Heart
10 A New Day at Midnight
11 Davey Jones' Locke