David Gray
Foundling


2.0
poor

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
August 25th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Too soon.

All David Gray does is confuse me and for an artist with such a straightforward style that's pretty difficult. But it's not a good thing, because the reason David Gray confuses me is that David Gray sounds confused. Five years passed between Life In Slow Motion and last year's Draw The Line and now just a year later we've got a new collection of songs from the Manchester-born singer-songwriter. And apparently, this is the album he's always wanted to record. I'm not one for second-guessing artists but I'm calling bullshit.

Having said that I can see where he's coming from: the first 3 tracks of Foundling seem to hint at some truly great potential and, more importantly, they kick out at the usual criticisms of Gray by not being completely predictable once you've heard the first chord. There's a pensive quality to the opening trio, a hint of something more gentle which even graces the louder climax of the title-track, and 'Forgetting' is probably the bravest thing he's committed to record in a long time - not that that's an overly difficult feat to achieve - crawling at a painfully beautiful pace throughout and containing some of his best one-liners.

And then 'Gossamer Thread' happens and it's the most disappointing thing you've heard this month, and not even because it's a bad song, but because it's such a David Gray song. Granted, he doesn't try to re-write 'Babylon' anywhere on Foundling but that's not the only typical David Gray song: he's got the slow, thoughtful ballads (which 'Forgetting' pretends to be but eclipses by its tenderness); he's got the mid-tempo jangling guitar numbers like everything from Life In Slow Motion but without the atmosphere or context (here, see 'Gossamer Thread', 'The Old Chair' and 'When I Was In Your Heart'; and he's got the bouncy 'Fugitive'-style songs which his 2009 LP was packed full of but don't make an appearance a year later.

And then to top it off, two mid-album songs ('We Could Fall In Love Again Tonight' and 'When I Was In Your Heart') drift through dreary melodies and unaffecting lyrics to the extent that they might as well not exist. They certainly don't belong on a track listing alongside 'Forgetting', 'Only The Wine', 'Davey Jones' Locker' or 'A New Day At Midnight'. And why the re-issue of that old song? It's a good track, undoubtedly, but it sums up the problem with Foundling by way of its inclusion; haste and carelessness. This is an album which feels rushed except for its stand-out moments; it genuinely sounds half-finished, and if it's the album Gray has always wanted to write, you have to wonder why that would be the case. The feeling's made worse by the way your expectations are raised for the first ten minutes, but truth be told, Foundling marks the low point of Gray's back catalogue.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

review was too easy to write

album is too easy not to care about

Eclectic
August 25th 2010


3302 Comments


Never bothered with this guy's stuff past "Babylon", is it really worth it?

Knott-
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Errrm depends. His singles tend to be awesome, but he's never released an album you'd honestly rate 4.5 or 5. White Ladder is worth a listen though, some amazing songs on there. And then you might find yourself surprised.

Eclectic
August 25th 2010


3302 Comments


Cool, I think I've got it, I just haven't bothered to listen to it.

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2010


10575 Comments


pacing my reviews knottster

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Knott-
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

whaaaaaat :o

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2010


10575 Comments


we have the same number and you keep popping em out

Knott-
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ah

this was /r/'d by ross so i got down to it it was ridiculously easy to write though

also you called me knottster that was my ironic school nickname

Phideaux
August 26th 2010


1656 Comments


Wow. You write tons of reviews. Never actually heard of this guy though.

Fugue
August 26th 2010


7354 Comments


As I alluded to yesterday, I really really liked Foundling and Forgetting when I heard them, and Gossamer Thread is so autopilot Gray that I can see how it would be disappointing after those two, but idk I was kind of hoping the album would be better than this. Out of respect to his back catalogue I'll still give this a go but yeah I'm not going to hope for much.

Nice write-up by the way, can't believe I didn't see this earlier, especially as I asked you to write it.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 26th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah that paragraph could pretty much have summarised my review. Doesn't help that 2/3 of the first 3 tracks are the ones you mentioned and from thereon it's just like...

REALLY DAVID REALLY?

Fugue
August 26th 2010


7354 Comments


Ugh, if I wanted White Ladder or Life In Slow motion I'd play White Ladder or Life In Slow Motion... I really do hope it's not this bad but from your review I can see it being this bad, especially if there's as much predictibility as you say there is. I kinda thought he might finally change his tune a little, sucks.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 26th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

HE DOES

on 4/11 tracks

the other 3 range from davidgray(TM) to BOOOOOOOOOORING

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2010


15743 Comments


i have a friend who's obsessed with this guy but ive never known why

Fugue
August 30th 2010


7354 Comments


well white ladder's pretty amazing.

robin
Emeritus
August 30th 2010


4261 Comments


haha knotty you make me so happy

gaslightanthem
August 30th 2010


5209 Comments


do u remember when strikey lol

Fugue
August 30th 2010


7354 Comments


He'll always be strikey to me.

AtavanHalen
August 30th 2010


17927 Comments


Write a review where you do knott talk about yourself

Knott-
Emeritus
August 30th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I do lots of the time.



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