Magazine topic: 
Music
Total votes: 97

There's something about Ray...

23
by : 
William Fry

This is certainly not a music review; I’m no NME journalist, think of it more as an eye opener (unless you already know him of course). Ray LaMontagne has been serenading me on a daily basis for a long time now and I can’t see it ending any time soon. Looking at him you might think he’d been in hibernation, with his lionesque mane and a beard that suggests any searches for razor blades have been fruitless. Everything about him screams humility and surprise at the popularity that now seems to follow him around like a shadow. Ray’s accomplished, rhythmic guitar playing, coupled with a voice as scratchy as an old vinyl record, make him my favourite musical discovery of the last few years. There’s a growl like quality to his voice, compelling you to hang on his every word whilst feeling all of the emotions that he exposes his audience to. There is so much good music to explore, no two songs are the same and every new album brings new surprises.

Ray has currently released four studio albums: Trouble, Till The Sun Turns Black, Gossip in the Grain and God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise. Each album presents new elements but there is always the consistency of Ray’s beautifully soulful voice and fantastic guitar playing. As someone who has always been a rocker at heart, it’s always refreshing to listen to acoustic artists such as Ray, and his songs are great to play along with. I shall attempt to pick a favourite song from each album; trying to choose just one song from all four albums would be enough to drive me to the brink of insanity. I’m not saying you’ll like him, but it would probably be like an Italian not liking Nutella...

Forever My Friend is the standout for me on the first album. It’s wonderfully jaunty and light-hearted, from the guitar riff all the way through to the lyrics. If you’ve ever been in love with someone then I think you’ll know exactly where he is coming from. It never fails to cheer me up as it starts emanating from my headphones. In contrast, Lesson Learned, my choice from the second album, is a sad tale of a love gone wrong. The opening lines of the song build into a crescendo in which LaMontagne’s voice obtains a quality which I’ve rarely heard from any artist. His soulful scream of anguish is enough to send shivers down your spine. The whole atmosphere of the song is very melancholy, yet the harmonised guitar parts contrast so well with the lyrics that it is very hard to be brought down. Next we arrive at the opening track of his third album to a menagerie of brass instruments, guitars and drums (and LaMontagne’s voice arriving like an uppercut from Muhammad Ali). Another quirky love song, You Are The Best Thing makes you want to get up and dance no matter what you’re doing. His euphoria is tangible, and makes you wish that one day you’ll feel the same way about someone as Ray’s subject in this song. Finally we come to The Devil’s in the Jukebox from LaMontagne’s final album. The harmonica, guitars and Ray’s soulful voice create a song to which you can’t help but tap your feet. The combination of harmonica and slide guitar is especially pleasing; a true triumph of a genre that is being lost to the annals of time and, as the final track of the album, a great way to sound off yet another fantastic piece of work.

The man is a genius. I could talk all day about the music of Ray LaMontagne, but I don’t want to ramble on. The best thing about discovering new artists is just that, the discovery, and Ray’s music is something which I can guarantee will not disappoint. There’s definitely something about Ray...

Language level: 
Discussion

What's your favourite album at the moment? What makes it special?

Comments

Elouise's picture
624x
5x
Elouise 24 October, 2013 - 06:37

My favorite album is Demi Lovato's album "Demi". It was released earlier this year. I really love her album, because many people, including me relate to the message of her songs. It has a lot of catchy songs that you can relate to. Whether it's about a heartbreak, happiness, and even about her life. The song that literally makes me cry she had there is "Warrior" that song is very potent.

One song she have on her past album "Unbroken" is called "Skyscraper". That song has a powerful message. Every people who are suffering from different problems like bullying, depression, health disorders, etc., relates to it. Demi went really far. She faced different problems, and she went through it.

What makes that song very special is, it helps me get through my struggles a lot. I always keep in my mind - If Demi went through it, I also can. Skyscraper is a very inspiring song, and it means a lot to me. It taught me so many things Whenever I'm sad, I just turn Demi's music on, and I'll be fine.

up
29 users have voted.
Toma English's picture
23904x
138x
Toma English 6 June, 2013 - 00:08

No I don't have a certain album to like ,, I Like individual songs ♪♫

up
24 users have voted.
June's picture
10310x
69x
June 3 May, 2013 - 16:31

I often listen to Taylor Swift's music, although I'm not a Swifty. I love every word in her songs. They are very meaningful. And yes, RED is a big success. But it's so not like her.
My favourite album now is Hello Vietnam by Quynh Anh Pham. Actually, it's not an album. It's a single. I love it simply because I love my country - Vietnam and I really admire the man who wrore it. He's not Vietnamese. He's French. You should listen to it.

up
28 users have voted.
ronaldostar's picture
6815x
41x
ronaldostar 23 March, 2013 - 20:41

my favorite album is global waming of pitbull , everything in that album is special ,everything

up
30 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
113639x
804x
Natalija 22 March, 2013 - 14:57

My favourite album is Red by Taylor Swift. She has an extraordinary voice. Favourite songs are I knew you were a trouble and Red.

up
27 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
90812x
677x
MALINE 10 March, 2013 - 17:31

I don´t have any favourite album at the moment, I think i´m old fashion I love Michael Jackson I think he is the best performance in the history.

up
28 users have voted.
RehinaParker's picture
50465x
356x
RehinaParker 8 March, 2013 - 13:43

Its all albums of ๑ॐ๑ॐ๑. Enrique Iglesias ๑ॐ๑ॐ๑.

ღೋ I LOVE HIS ALBUMS ღೋ

up
21 users have voted.
smiely's picture
131x
1x
smiely 22 February, 2013 - 11:47

My favorit album for the moment is "science and faith" of the script , what makes it special is the power that its songs gave ,the will & the belief ..The lyrics are so touching & expressive ... thats all :)

up
22 users have voted.
Aziza kerimli's picture
2422x
24x
Aziza kerimli 6 February, 2013 - 13:22

my favourite album is justin biebers BELIEVE... it is so special for me and many other beliebers in the world.. Songs in this album teach me how to believe .... :)

up
21 users have voted.
Ilda G's picture
52698x
382x
Ilda G 28 January, 2013 - 16:11

I have a problem with this site...
I can't see some pages..
It writes:"Access denied
.you are not authorized to see this page"!!
Why is happening this?

up
34 users have voted.
Simon's picture
27955x
116x
Simon 29 January, 2013 - 01:35

Hello ilda goxhaj. Unfortunately, some pages with videos from youtube do not work in some countries. But all the other pages on this site should be available to all our users. If you continue to have problems let us know which pages are not working for you and we can try to fix it.

Best wishes

Simon (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
29 users have voted.
Ilda G's picture
52698x
382x
Ilda G 27 January, 2013 - 16:50

My favourite album for the moment is
the album of Taylor Swift...
But I also like all the songs of Michael Jackson

up
41 users have voted.