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DAVID GRAY
LIFE IN SLOW MOTION
ATO/RCA

Although it won him a worldwide following (and the biggest-selling album in Irish history), David Grayís 1999 disc White Ladder mightíve earned this Manchester, UK-born singer-songwriter an inaccurate reputation. On that album Gray augmented his strummy, earnest ballads with homemade electronics and live-drummer acrobatics, which placed him alongside such future-folk practitioners as Beth Orton and Turin Brakes. Yet Grayís work since White Ladder (and its big hit, "Babylon") has demonstrated how much more interested he is in the age-old verities of confessional songwriting than any fancy studio technique. For Life in Slow Motion, he hired Marius DeVries, whoís produced records by Madonna and Björk (and served as musical director on Baz Luhrmannís Moulin Rouge), but he likely overpaid: very few of the tunes here betray any sign of the producerís flashy handiwork, revolving instead around warm acoustic guitar and piano, which provide a familiar foundation for cozy meditations on perfect summer nights, new green leaves, and the stars above. A stately string section fancies up several cuts, but only in order to more fully realize Grayís desire to become his generationís Van Morrison. Heís well on his way.

David Gray | Agganis Arena, 925 Comm Ave, Boston | Oct 8 |617.228.6000

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: October 7 - 13, 2005
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