Like honey on a sore throat, Ray LaMontagne is soothing to the soul.
When you just need to chill, or you’re looking for inspiration, Ray is the perfect choice.
With four full-length albums available, you can’t go wrong. I honestly love each song. The lyrics are incredibly poignant and his voice never falters. In recent releases he’s got a defined country twang, full of pedal steel guitar and down home references. But a listen to his earlier albums will give you a completely different feeling.
Trouble, (2004), was the first major release.
This is Ray at his best: Simple, pure and amazing.
Hold You In My Arms, (2004).
“Love is a poor man’s food”
His second studio album, Till the Sun Turns Black (2006), marked a shift in mood. This album is far more subdued.
It’s dark and seedy, soaked in bourbon and stinking of cigarettes, begging you to give in to the despair.
“Well I looked my demons in the eyes, laid bare my chest, said ‘Do your best to destroy me'”
As if the sun came back from a distant place, Gossip in the Grain (2009), is full of life and energy.
There’s a renewed sense of optimism and excitement.
It’s sassy and in your face. The soft, demure guy we knew before is all but gone.
You Are the Best Thing, (2009).
“I have been kicked in my teeth till the blood run hot and sweet — Just because you knock a man down don’t mean that you got him beat”
The most recent release is the first Ray has done with the Pariah Dogs. God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise (2010), is a more traditional country album.
The lyrics tell stories and are set up like ballads.
Don’t let that discourage you, the songs are just as amazing as you’d expect. Maybe even better. When it’s this good, it’s hard to say.
New York City’s Killing Me, (2010).
God Willin’ & That Creek Don’t Rise, (2010).
The last song I’ll leave you with is one of my all-time favorites. It’s such a sad love song. The lyrics are so poetic and vivid. It gets to me every time I hear it.
Roses and Cigarettes, (2009).