A New Day at Midnight
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
through the American radio gates he'd been denied for years with
his fourth studio album (originally released in 1998), White
Ladder, and it's smashing single "Babylon," David
Gray quickly became a household musical name. A quick pseudo-followup
with a collection of "rarities" entitled Lost Songs
95-98 and a reissue of Flesh came soon thereafter.
Still it wasn't until 2002 that Gray released his true White
Ladder successor, A New Day at Midnight.
return to more of a roots-rock sound in place of the overabundance
of electronic flourish in Ladder, A New Day at Midnight
acts as not exactly a huge step forward for Gray, but rather a
step off to the side. And, truth be told, it's a step that finds
him sound more directly on track.
The album opens
strongly enough with "Dead in the Water," an acoustic
ringer for a future single and arguably one of the best tracks
on the disc. Gray's signature vocals and return to superb songwriting
stand out immediately, and trend which thankfully continues throughout
A New Day.
Ladder focused primarily upon variations of the classic love
song, A New Day At Midnight finds Gray once again stretching
his songwriting to more "bigger-picture" issues. The
album's standout track, "Freedom," clocks in at just
under seven minutes, and amidst a beautiful piano line gives Gray
the opportunity to wax utopian about his non-too-idealistic political
views. Meanwhile, "The Other Side" calls out to his
recently deceased father and amidst its somber call manages to
close the disc just as strongly as it began.
Gray does include his signature love songs with "Caroline"
and the single "Be Mine" being the most obvious of offenders.
Still, Gray's songwriting manages to save these from falling into
sappy balladry. If you're going to write a love song, this is
how you do it.
Fans of past
Gray work will undoubtedly be more than pleased with A New
Day at Midnight, and those who were disenchanted with the
continual radio play of "Babylon" will also likely find
solace somewhere throughout this disc's array of killer songs.
Surely it's nothing more than just another David Gray album, but
being a David Gray album is something to be damned proud of.
liked A New Day at Midnight...
Dead in the Water
3. Long Distance Call
5. Real love
7. Last Boat
10. Be Mine
11. Easy Way to Cry
12. The Other Side