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Till the Sun Turns Black
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Till The Sun Turns Black
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While TROUBLE hit you over the head with it's great title track and then continued with some songs in a similar mode, the new album is a different beast altogether. TILL THE SUN TURNS BLACK moves at a slow simmer, rising only above a whisper on a couple of tunes. Despite it's subtlety, this album packs the same emotional punch as its predecessor. Lamontagne's songs are floated on quiet string and brass arrangements with acoustic guitar and stirring vocals to create a music that falls somewhere between the blues and the music of Nick Drake. It all shadows and smoke.
Fans of TROUBLE will no doubt find much to like here, but will need to approach this new release with patience. A point of reference for existing fans would be TROUBLE's closing track ALL THE WILD HORSES. It is an album that will reward the listener with more depth each time they play it.
So, when I was purchasing a book in a major retail bookstore in downtown Boston, their last-minute-marketing attempts caught me unawares as I stood there looking at Ray's new album. I admit, I'd lost touch and wasn't even aware that a new album was being released! I bought it without a second look and it lived in my bag for over twenty-four hours until I had the opportunity to break it open and listen to it from beginning to end.
First listen: Solid follow-up album that is clearly more-produced that the debut. Initially I felt it might have been a little over-produced with splashes of horn-sections and strings. It was clearly in contrast to the bare-bones, mostly-accoustic debut album.
Second listen: Wait...what's the name of the second track? This song is beautiful! Absolutely haunting and...start it over from the beginning. Resist the temptation to put this one track on repeat. . .
Third listen: This album is not at all overproduced. It's brilliant and, as I would expect, the lyrics and melodies are gorgeous.
And to shamelessly make an allusion to the fourth track, "Three more days" I implore you to give it three more listens if at first you feel ambivalent. This album is a treasure.
The song "Empty" is sheer poetry:
"lay your blouse across the chair,
let fall the flowers from your hair
and kiss me with that country mouth, so plain.
outside, the rain is tapping on the leaves,
to me it sounds like they're applauding us the quiet love we made.
will i always feel this way?
so empty, so estranged"
Buy the album for "Empty" but stay and listen to the whole thing. It is well worth it. Thank you Mr. LaMontagne.
It's wonderful to discover then, that after the success of LaMontagne's 2004 debut Trouble, his new songs have lost nothing in the way of their original unpretensious, heart-on-sleeve earthiness. If anything, Till The Sun Turns Black is a touch more somber than Trouble, with a profound sense of melancholy running through even the lighter moments. Songs about hard times, self-doubt, and lost love can generally be relied upon to be compelling, but rarely are they so effortlessly graceful, hauntingly sincere and unutterably beautiful as they are on Till The Sun Turns Black. Aided once more by the brilliant multi-instrumentalist Ethan Johns (it's hard to imagine any other producer for LaMontagne) the two prove beyond all doubt that Trouble was no fluke. It was in fact, only the beginning. Without altering his style drastically, LaMontagne has really broadened his approach here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The songs on this earlier album are the ones that tipped me off about Ray's song writing and unique singing abilities. Till the Sun Turns Black and Trouble are my favorites. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
I have been a Ray LaMontagne fan for some time now. This album doesn't disappoint. Solid compilation of tunes with hooks and melodic blends.Published 1 month ago by Dale W Larimore Jr
I really just bought it after sampling the song Empty and I gotta say, It's my favorite album by him. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael H