Because Paste gave the album a dismal 53%, complaining about the production and lagging songs on the album, I was just a TAD worried about David Gray’s new album. Perhaps because I generally trust that magazine, and was also anticipating the album SO much, I was afraid that it was going to be a hopeless disaster of awful, boring songs.
Sorry Paste – you were wrong.
Though this album may not be Gray’s most “artistic” effort to date, demonstrating maturity and praticed safety in the song’s melodies rather than experimentation, anger, politics and tradition in his earliest records, the album is a work of art, showcasing nothing but beauty and romance and virtuosity vocally, melodically and lyrically as well, though the lyric on Stella the Artist about “psychotic puke” is a terrible line and seriously disconcerting.
The opener, “Fugitive” is bold and soaring and captures the emotions of loss and personality and redemption that seem prevelant in the other songs. The album’s title, “Draw the Line” seems like a middle finger to… well, whoever you want it to be for. It’s a sentiment that I can certainly relate to and I’m immediately drawn into Gray’s world.
No song on the album compares though, to “Nemesis”, a genius, VERY pretty tune with great lines like “I am ecstacy spilling like bright egg-yolk, I’m the thoughts you’re too ashamed to even share” and “I’m the photograph they found in your burned out house”. The subject matter is that of an angrier, more pointed version of Jann Arden’s “Good Mother” but truly engaging.
It’s one thing to discover new artists, but it’s another when someone you really love releases a new record because you get to be remined just how much you truly love them and why they mean as much to you as they do. Also, you’re most of the time guaranteed to like it, so that’s an added bonus.
This is a great record, regardless of what Paste says. But the true way to experience David Gray’s music is to hear or see him play live. After the first time I saw him live, I was never the same again.