12 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

English troubadour David Gray sounds like he’s rediscovered the skip in his step on 2014’s Mutineers. Partial credit is due to the album’s producer, Andy Barlow, whose résumé includes founding the ‘90s Brit-electronica group Lamb and working with singer/songwriter Damien Rice. Gray here sticks to his acoustic guitar and pianos, but Barlow programs the computer subtly behind him, so the title track has an urban feel surrounding Gray’s straight-to-the-heart approach. “Back in the World” opens the album as Gray’s statement of purpose, as he sings “Love put a joy in my heart.” From there, nothing can hurt him. “Beautiful Agony,” “Snow In Vegas,” “Birds of the High Arctic,” and “Gulls” demonstrate Gray’s ability to lift the human spirit and Barlow’s talents at finding new textures and adding the occasional orchestration that enhances the songs' intimacy. Gray’s love for vocal improvisation turns “Cake and Eat It” into a soulful experience. The bonus track “Nearly Midnight” deserves official status on the album, since it’s yet another highlight.

EDITORS’ NOTES

English troubadour David Gray sounds like he’s rediscovered the skip in his step on 2014’s Mutineers. Partial credit is due to the album’s producer, Andy Barlow, whose résumé includes founding the ‘90s Brit-electronica group Lamb and working with singer/songwriter Damien Rice. Gray here sticks to his acoustic guitar and pianos, but Barlow programs the computer subtly behind him, so the title track has an urban feel surrounding Gray’s straight-to-the-heart approach. “Back in the World” opens the album as Gray’s statement of purpose, as he sings “Love put a joy in my heart.” From there, nothing can hurt him. “Beautiful Agony,” “Snow In Vegas,” “Birds of the High Arctic,” and “Gulls” demonstrate Gray’s ability to lift the human spirit and Barlow’s talents at finding new textures and adding the occasional orchestration that enhances the songs' intimacy. Gray’s love for vocal improvisation turns “Cake and Eat It” into a soulful experience. The bonus track “Nearly Midnight” deserves official status on the album, since it’s yet another highlight.

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