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Gossip in the Grain
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$15.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Ray Lamontagne, is an enigma. His voice is breathy and rich and his trademark. His songwriting is brilliant at times. He is a genius at his craft. But, he is not reaching the masses. I found him, oh, several years ago with his first CD, 'Trouble' and his voice and lyrics stirred my soul.

"The Jesus-bearded troubadour is sort of a recluse. He doesn't enjoy doing interviews, refuses to make music videos, and hates reviews of his work--be they positive or negative. But for all the coffeehouse hacks trying to emulate Bob Dylan's verbosity and Van Morrison's impassioned croon, there's the soft-spoken Ray LaMontagne, singing his own wistful tunes without the weight of pretension and the hype of MTV." Joe Tacopina

This CD brings Ray Lamontagne to the fore. He is including a full orchestra. As he said in an interview, "It was time to open up a little bit more, not be quite so reserved in my choice of songs that I wanted to record." His choices in these ten songs are somewhat similar to his first two CD's but tell a story of their own. These songs are richer and more complete.

'You Are The Best Thing'-Best song of the ten and my favorite- backed-up by vocals and this is Ray at his best.

'Let It Be Me'- A traditional Ray song-showcasing his beautiful voice.

'Sarah'- One of the most beautifully written songs- many say he sounds like Nick Drake in this saga.

'I Still Care For You'-The big band background with Ray barely speaking.

'Winter Birds'- The poem like wording is exquisite. The best writing of his career.

'Meg White'- Such a complete sidestepping of his usual fare. Feet stomping good- a tribute to Meg White of the 'Stripes'- you either love it or hate it.

'Hey Me, Hey Mama'- Folksy singing- absolutely love this new Ray- 'Where ya been so long?'

'Henry Nearly Killed Me'-Fast paced song with a story line to be followed.

'A Falling Through'- A quiet, thoughtful song.

'Gossip In The Grain'- Soft, listen carefully to the lyrics- beautiful musical background.

Ray Lamontagne is a musician who has not reached his prime. He has stepped out of his footprint with this CD. Gaining new ground and new fans. He is quietly taking his place along side the greats of his genre.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-02-08

Trouble

[[ASIN:B000GPIPVU Till the Sun Turns Black
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2008
I had never heard of Ray LaMontagne before Amazon's recommendation engine pointed out to me that people frequently bought Martin Sexton's "Solo" along with "Gossip in the Grain." I'm a huge fan of Martin Sexton since about a year ago, and looking for more amazing folk/rock music to experience.

So I sampled a few tracks before downloading mp3s for "You are the Best Thing" and "Let It Be Me." Repeated playings of these tracks quickly lead to buying the rest. (And then regretting not buying the physical CD.) Love the whole album, listening to it many times the past couple of days, and now waiting eagerly for his first two albums to be delivered.

The songs really move me. Emotional, honest, real. Ray's voice is superb. "I Still Care For You" didn't click right away, but I quickly grew to appreciate it along with the rest. I don't understand the hate for "Meg White" in other reviews -- it's another good tune and a nice change of pace. "Winter Birds" also good. Mellow, yet engaging. (I don't really know what that means.) All the tunes are awesome. So glad to have found this artist and that I have more to look forward to.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
I love Ray LaMontagne and I've been a fan of everything he's done, but Gossip in the Grain is so unique and personal...I was amazed! People who call the songs filler or mush are not able to appreciate the art of the composition and the poetry that are these lyrics. I agree that this is not Trouble, but why would you want it to be? That's been done already! He has grown and evolved into something even more beautiful on this album. Winter Birds could be published poetry as far as I'm concerned. And every song has a hint of a different style and a different time in the history of American music. Please buy this album and keep an open mind.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
"Gossip In The Grain" builds off of both of Ray's older albums. It has the beautiful soulful simple vocals of "Trouble" combined with the amazing instrumentation of "Til The Sun Turns Black". In true Lamontagne style, Ray provides moving beautiful song after song on this album. He also experiments with a more traditional folk sound in tracks such as "Hey Me, Hey Mama". The song "You Are The Best Thing" will become an instant classic and go down as one of the all time greats. If you too have fallen in love with the moving soulful work of this modern master don't hesitate to buy this album. You will not be disappointed!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2008
Sure, he's expanded his sound a bit on some of these songs, but I find the album as a whole really flat and sort of forgettable. There are a few stand-outs such as the single, You Are the Best Thing, the soulful Let It Be Me, and the back-country porch rocker Hey Me, Hey Mama. Other than those, everything seems to kind of blend together into a whispery mush.

I've heard a lot of Ray's live and rare material that hasn't been included on any of his studio albums and it just leaves me wondering, "Why?" A lot of it is better than anything Gossip In The Grain. Dig 'em out, shine 'em up, and record 'em, Ray. No more gimmicky songs about talentless female drummers please.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2008
Ok I see that some reviewers have given Ray an unfair rating on this album. One reviewer said that on some songs it sounded like Ray was channeling Ray Charles and Johny Cash, and acted like that was the highest point of this album. Now I get that Ray's voice is full of soul and he has been influenced by some of the past greats, and that tends to pull in some of the older audience. But when Ray doesn't give them that redundant bluesy/soul sound they get all pissey and call it filler and say they just don't get it. What they fail to realize is that Ray is an artist of his own time, and of course will "channel", if you may, some of his past influences, but in all is more of his own self. I have learned to love his first two albums equally as they are a part of a growing process of a true artist, and after giving this album a couple listens I already know that I will love this one just as much as the first two. If you are on the fence about buying this album and are thinking about passing just because some stubborn oldies didn'nt get "When A Man Loves A Women" (Although a fantastic song!!) 10 times. Wonder no more and purchase this songwriting genius' latest masterpiece!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2008
Another excellent album by Ray Lamontagne, his third. His first, Trouble, though still more than worth the money, was at times inconstent. He hit a home run with his second album, "Till the Sun Turns Black," a magnificent collections of songs. Not even a so-so one in the bunch. With "Gossip in The Grain," he's gone a step up. Intelligent, insightful lyrics, mesmerizing melodies, and just the right amount of rasp to his voice to really show off the emotion. Actually, though, I think the weakest song on the album is the first song. I burned a copy, moving the 1st to last, and I prefer it much more that way. My oppinion. But there's no doubt, it's an album worth owning -- played in any order.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2008
I have been a fan of Ray for a long time. I was one of the first people to buy his first album and have a bunch of demos and live recordings. I have seen him perform live asix times, and he is by far my favorite artist right now.

This album is too highly produced. Too many horns, too many strings, too much of everything. Ray is best stripped down and raw. Go see him live and you will know what I mean.

His earlier music is more raw and passionate. I don't know if Ethan Johns pushed him in this direction, or if Ray prefers this style, but I don't like it.

"Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's A Shame)" is the best track by far.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2009
I love this one. The last album sounded much like the one before it, but this album has some fun new sounds, some twists and turns. It's got a few electronic effects, like echoing (??), which I'm completely into. If you love more organic music, this might bother you. My husband seemed to think it was out of place, but I'm all over it.

There are a few songs on this album, such as "I Still Care For You," that I had to play over and over when we first got it. They're wonderfully haunting, and I can't get enough of Ray's soft, somewhat scratchy voice. This album stays in our stereo. It doesn't leave. I hIghly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2009
This is not a review of the quality of music on this album! I love Ray and everything he has ever done! This is a review of the MP3 download of "Gossip in the Grain". THIS IS A HORRIBLE MP3 RIP! THE RECORDINGS ARE SO LOUD THAT ALL OF RAY'S VOCALS ARE DISTORTED! I have brought this to Amazon's attention and they have refunded my purchase. However, they have not fixed the problem! I love the fact that Amazon offers a high bit-rate, non-DRM encrypted alternative to iTunes! AMAZON PLEASE FIX THIS PROBLEM!!
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