Gray maintains down-to-earth appeal

Dana D’Orazio

It has been four years since David Gray’s “White Ladder” was released, and his latest album, “A New Day at Midnight” is anything but the all-too-common rearrangement of a previous album. “White Ladder” seemed hard to top with its laid-back rhythms coupled with Gray’s raspy, soulful voice.

One couldn’t help but compare the voice to that of Bob Dylan, yet Gray is unique in his own right. With “White Ladder,” Gray introduced us to his slow melodies mixed with unique drum undertones and classical piano which one couldn’t help but fall into. His poignant lyrics made him seem like the boy next door, down to earth and real.

With a Grammy nomination for best new artist and worldwide praise for his work, especially for the hit single, “Babylon,” Gray had a hit on his hands. He has done it again with his latest release. The raspy, soulful tone is present, yet the music itself is very different. The tempos are quicker and the melodies more prominent. Gray clearly has experimented with new rhythms, new techno and some might even say country undertones as heard in “Be Mine” and “Caroline.”

His lyrics and vocals are backed with a more intense emotion than his previous album, yet his music and lyrics don’t lose its down to earth, real feel. This album seems more focused on world issues, clearly seen in “Freedom,” rather than the familiar love songs of his previous album.

It is no wonder Gray has been such a success, seeing his progress made from “White Ladder” to “A New Day at Midnight.” He has successfully managed to produce a new sound without losing himself or his signature musical characteristics. In the music industry, these are both great feats which deserve recognition and a definite listen.