David Gray is one of the consummate artists in the business and Mutineers is stunning!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
David Gray is a lunch pail type singer / songwriter, he stays after it till the job is finished. Mutineers is a textured gem of intimacy with a creative flow that seems to have sprung forth from Gray and reconnected with a new found focus. There is a raw and almost organic emotive quality while occasionally taping into some ambient harmonic explorations that have eluded his grasp so far in his stellar career. I say stellar slightly tongue in cheek as this is his first release in four years since Foundlings crashed and burned stiffing faster than "Hope and Change."
Not as acoustic as previous releases, Gray gets up close and personal with the piano and introduces a few electronic tweaks that are pure texture. The jury is still somewhat out as the release is getting either feast or famine reviews. Critical remarks have included, "too sleepy" or the incredible asine "too acoustic." That is David Gray, deal with it. Memorable songs? "Back In The World" and "Birds Of The High Arctic" jump to mind but Gray has successfully created a more evocative release built around mood development than commercial fodder for social media platforms.
What we have is David Gray attempting to not only tap into a more lyrically intense sweet spot but new ways to transform his lyrical vision into a corresponding harmonic presentation. David Gray fans should not be scared off. New fans should sample Mutineers off iTunes. Writers block? No. Not even close. An artist that is attempting to be nothing more than who he is, David Gray..
Tracks: Back Into The World; As The Crow Flies; Mutineers; Beautiful Agony; Last Summer; Snow In Vegas; Nearly Midnight; Cake And Eat It; Birds Of The High Arctic; The Incredible; Girl Like You; Gulls.