Ray LaMontagne
Till the Sun Turns Black


4.5
superb

Review

by La Revolucion USER (8 Reviews)
September 15th, 2006 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ray LaMontagne creates absolutely outstanding singer songwriter music, and his warm voice and complex song arrangements only add to the brilliance.

Ray LaMontagne is totally brilliant. Sure, that statement has been said about a number of artists, most of whom end up finding their misguided, over-hyped way onto a Spin Magazine “Overrated Artist” or “What Happened To Them?” list eventually. But Ray has the factor of staying power, something many of his “brilliant” contemporaries can only dream of. Two albums with no filler, along with the fact that just about every song on those two albums is incredibly well-written, make Ray LaMontagne a standout in the current singer-songwriter scene.

His cigarette and whiskey tinged, somewhat raspy voice has a timeless quality that would allow it to fit into any era of music past. Add to his beautiful voice a rhythmically strummed acoustic guitar, haunting string parts, and an occasional piano flourish and you have the instrument layout for almost every song on Ray LaMontagne’s first album, Trouble. However, on Till The Sun Turns Black, Ray adds punchy horns to the bluesier numbers, creating the perfect balance between normal and relaxed folk music and all out blues rawk.

Between Trouble and Till The Sun Turns Black, Ray must have taken some songwriting enhancing pills or something, because there is a massive leap forward in quality from the first album to this one in terms of writing ability. The impressive thing is that the songs on Trouble were already complex yet memorable, and very difficult to top. On Till The Sun Turns Black, Ray builds on the what now seem like primitive and archaic song ground works that were found on Trouble with a greater emphasis on beautiful strings and instruments other than his acoustic guitar. The results are orchestrated, beautifully arranged soundscapes that are based on an acoustic chord progression.

If you’ve heard the almost perfect Trouble and thought that Ray couldn’t get any better, pick up Till The Sun Turns Black for blatant proof that he can improve. If you’ve never heard Ray and are in the mood for some heartfelt, absolutely remarkable singer-songwriterish folk music, then there is no better place to start than the immediately likeable, musically outstanding Till The Sun Turns Black.

Recommended Songs
Be Here Now
Empty
Lesson Learned

Overall Rating
4.5/5



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user ratings (71)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
La Revolucion
September 15th 2006


1060 Comments


So I know this review is short, but what I was going for was being able to see if I could write a short review that gave the reader an exact impression of the album's quality and made them feel like they knew exactly what the album sounded like, even if they had never heard it, right after reading. Please let me know how I did.

mx
Moderator
September 15th 2006


733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I LOVE this album, and would have reviewed it if nobody did. Excellent, excellent stuff, an album of the year contender.

Zebra
Moderator
September 15th 2006


2647 Comments


I need to give this a listen. I'm also on a huge Iron & Wine kick so that should definitely help. I have yet to hear a bad thing about this album which is quite surprising.

La Revolucion
September 16th 2006


1060 Comments


Well, you haven't heard anything bad said about it because there's nothing bad to say about it.

djtdub105
September 18th 2006


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was really looking foward to this album to come out, and it definitely didn't disappoint. At first listen, it was a surprise to hear how different this album was compared to "Trouble". I still think that the a lot of the songs on "Trouble" are more immediately memorable, but this album has much more variety, and the instrumental arrangements are just brilliant.

Hatshepsut
October 9th 2006


1997 Comments


Wow this looks real interesting.

Kiran
Emeritus
April 19th 2008


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Empty is so good. The entire album is.

Kiran
Emeritus
September 2nd 2008


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just realized I never rated this.

And bump.

BigTuna
December 23rd 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is beautiful

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar



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