At the start of the decade, I would have put money on David Gray would at the end of the decade would be one of the biggest. On White Ladder he effortless mixed a singer-songwriter and electronic music with a pop sensibility better than anyone had before. But some tragedy between albums led to a darker A New Day at Midnight and Life in Slow Motion didn’t get much sunnier. So with months until the end of the decade I am glad I am not a betting man.
But that is not to say Gray didn’t deserve to stay in the public consensus as there were plenty of great songs on those two albums. And he has put out another strong effort with Draw the Line, the first album without longtime contributor Craig McClune. Without McClune, the album has a folksier feel to it, dropping the electronic sounds of previous work. Gray also brought in a pair of singing partners, Jolie Holland adds some sweet harmonies on Kathleen. The other being a very angry Annie Lennox, whose voice I first thought was Meat Loaf until I looked at the liner notes, closes out the album with Full Stream.
Draw the Line starts off with the impassioned Fugitive which stands up with anything in the Dave Gray catalogue. And the simplistic Transformation is Gray at his best that starts with just him and the piano. But if there is a criticism to be had with Draw the Line is that as a whole it is a little too melancholy and you just wish he would let go like on Fugitive. Then there is Harder which gets too close like sounding like Run by Snow Patrol. But for those that have stuck with during his dark period will still find the classic David Gray on Draw the Line.
Song to Download – Fugitive
Draw the Line gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.