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Ray LaMontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black Review

by Ashleigh Hill

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Sophomore Standstill


Till the Sun Turns Black, the follow-up to factory-worker turned singer-songwriter LaMontagne's first and gleaming album, Trouble, continues on the same folksy blues path he's known for. The performer's sorrowful, poignant lyrics mesh with his scratchy yet clear vocals, which in turn flow beautifully through every song on Till the Sun Turns Black. Unfortunately for the world of folk singers, sophomore albums pose the task of separating oneself from all others. LaMontagne tries his hardest, beginning with the ambient "Be Here Now", moving through the horn-rimmed "You Can Bring Me Flowers", and ending with a typical and sweet "Within You", but ends up with little breathing room.

LaMontagne certainly lives up to his reputation of heartbreaking with his exceptionally honest lyrics (I never learned to count my blessings/ I choose instead to dwell in my disaster) and mellow, strings-based arrangements. However, LaMontagne has not officially distinguished himself from the pack. It's a shame to, with gems such as "Three More Days", Empty", and "Barfly" giving him a steady base, the up-and-comer hopefully has a lot more up his sleeve. There's not doubt that fans of the essential rasping qualities of Bill Withers, Joni Mitchell, or Bob Dylan will fall quickly into step with Till the Sun Turns Black, but there's no temptation of replacing their favorites.


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Ray LaMontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black

Label:RCA
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