Till the sun turns black
As the summer draws to close and we start looking for our winter warmers, Ray LaMontagne releases his heart warming second album. 'Till the sun turns black' is the 2nd album from the sultry folk artist and the opening track 'Be here now' is an epic start to a beautiful record. At just under 6 minutes 30 it serves you well as a taster for the whole of the album. The strong emotive strings and piano drift in and out as Rays beautiful voice whispers over the top. The sound is laconic in presence but holds you so tight from the first play. Its mixture of dark smooth sounds, sincere lyrics and uplifting feeling shows the tour de force of emotions he can project into his music. Remember this is just track one and by the end of it, you're thinking to yourself 'Where have I been for the past hour?'
The rest of the album follows suite in terms of its relaxing soothing sound and Ray's flawless brilliant voice. This is bolstered by a range of varying guest sounds including smooth Blues Trumpet on 'Can I bring you flowers', Spanish style guitar on 'Lesson learned' and violin on 'Within you'. On top of all that is the masterful production of Ethan Johns which on certain tracks sounds like the work of Ennio Morricone.
What makes it better is that Ray's enigmatic personality outside of the music shines through. His soft sounding vocals sound like he's whispering his secrets in your ear. And although Ray has an elusive nature and private personality, listening to tracks like 'When the sun turns black' and 'Can I stay' make you feel like you know him a little bit better.
Although the record is dark and edgy in places tracks like 'Three more days' and 'Barfly' show how uplifting and rangy his voice and music can be. The lyrics are so soulful, heartfelt and tender and the music sounds effortless, his vocals are barely pushed past his lips yet its effectiveness is deafening. What more do you want?