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Ray LaMontagne — Ouroboros (March 4th, 2016)

Ray LaMontagne — Ouroboros (March 4th, 2016)

            Ray LaMontagne — Ouroboros (March 4th, 2016)Ray LaMontagne — Ouroboros (March 4th, 2016)ζθ   Ouroboros je těžší album než předchozí Supernova (29. duben 2014). Předešlé produkoval Dan Auerbach, současné Jim James (My Morning Jacket). Zatímco obě alba sdílí lásku k psychedelii, ponořily se do velmi odlišných stránek jejího spektra. Nové je prosyceno zvukovými efekty v Pink Floydovském stylu. Když třeba začíná píseň “Part Two — In My Own Way”, okamžitě si připomenete “Us & Them” z Dark Side. Už začátek alba je nenápadným můstkem k tomuto albu. Příslušnost k artrockovému křídlu psychedelie vyplývá z bohatství zvuků v “Hey, No Pressure”, což lze chápat i jako rádioaktivní blues. Melodie jsou lehce plovoucí, hodně textur stojí na jedné z nejvíce strhujících hlasových kvalit celé scény. Ačkoli LaMontagne vlastní jeden z největších soulových hlasů moderní éry, nikdy to s ním nepřeháněl. Tentokrát se zdá být odhodlán bagatelizovat tento dar víc, než kdy jindy. Právě tato vyhýbavost činí z LaMontagna jednu z nejvíce fascinujících postav. Raději drží pomalá tempa, více šeptá jako mnich, je intenzivní v záměru být potichu. Je to skladatel naší doby, jak ukazuje píseň “In My Own Way”, tady kytara zní hodně snově (David Gilmour/Jim James) a k tomu styl bicích Nicka Masona (Dave Givans), to je zcela zjevné. Krok ještě hlouběji činí v “Another Day”, další už je téměř k neuvěření, co to slyším — “A Murmuration of Starlings” — další jasná reminiscence na “Us & Them”. Písně nemají přestávky, volně přecházejí z drážky do drážky, jsou úzce propojené i v tempech a charakteristické bubeníkovým důrazem na doby — viz The “Changing Man” a pár dalších s vyvrcholením v poslední “Wouldn´t It Make a Lovely Photograph”. Je to podivuhodné album — jako by satirizovalo problém s názvem alba, odkazujícím na mýtického hada, který požírá svůj vlastní ocas. Ray LaMontagne není samožer, je to stálice a spolehlivý písničkář par excellence, velmi soukromá osoba, která poskytuje rozhovory jen velmi zřídka. Začal v továrně na boty a jednou ráno slyšel píseň “Treetop Flyer” od Stephena Stillse. A v ten den se rozhodl být hudebníkem. Prodal dodávku VW a koupil si za to stejnou kytaru, jakou měl Stills: 1972 K Martin D–35. Bylo to skvělé rozhodnutí. ALBUM MĚSÍCE BŘEZNA 2016.
ζθ   New England singer/songwriter who gained praise from fans and critics for his raspy, heartfelt vocals and diverse material.                                                                              Birth name: Raymond Charles Jack LaMontagne
Born: June 18, 1973, Nashua, New Hampshire
Location: Ashfield, Massachusetts
Notable instruments:
ζθ   1972 K Martin D–35, Bourgeois Guitar Country Boy w/Sitka Top, D–150, Custom DS–260, Victoria Parlor models.
Album release: March 4th, 2016
Record Label: Columbia/ RCA
Genre: Folk, Singer–Songwriter
Duration:     39:40
Tracks:
1. Part One — Homecoming      8:29
2. Part One — Hey, No Pressure      6:34
3. Part One — The Changing Man     4:13
4. Part One — While It Still Beats      4:10
5. Part Two — In My Own Way      6:36
6. Part Two — Another Day      3:06
7. Part Two — A Murmuration of Starlings      2:33
8. Part Two — Wouldn´t It Make a Lovely Photograph      3:58
ζθ   All songs written by Ray LaMontagne.
ζθ   Featuring My Morning Jacket, produced by Jim James.
℗ 2016 Stone Dwarf LLC, under license to RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment                                                  Credits:
ζθ   Dan Dorff Juno, Keyboards, Mellotron, Piano, Piano (Electric), Pump Organ, Synthesizer, Unknown Instrument, Vibraphone
ζθ   Meghan Foley Art Direction, Design
ζθ   Anne Gauthier Assistant
ζθ   Dave Givans Drums, Percussion
ζθ   Jim James Guitar (Electric), Guitar (Rhythm), Juno, Producer, Saxophone, Siren, Synthesizer, Vocal Harmony, Vocals (Background)
ζθ   Seth Kaufman Bass, Box, Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Electric), Slide Guitar, Textural Sampling
ζθ   Ray LaMontagne Arranger, Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Guitar (Rhythm), Producer, Vocals
ζθ   Bob Ludwig Mastering
ζθ   Alexis Marsh Vocal Harmony, Vocals (Background)
ζθ   Kevin Ratterman Engineer, Mixing, Moog Bass, Moog Synthesizer, Piano, Strings
ζθ   Brian Stowell Photography
Editors’ Notes:
ζθ   One of the most probing singer/songwriters of his generation, Ray LaMontagne achieves a cosmically sublime state on Ouroboros. Lined with imagery that feels drawn from riddle–like dreams, the freely flowing song cycle passes through ethereal jazz folk (“Homecoming”), fuzzily iridescent psychedelia (“While It Still Beats”) and radioactive blues (“Hey, No Pressure”). The tunes are spare, often consisting of just LaMontagne’s raspy whisper laid over standard rock instrumentation. Yet the way producer Jim James wraps them in echo–laden atmosphere and spacey effects lends the music a spellbinding sense of vastness.                                                                                                     Review
By Jim Farber  |  March 4, 2016  |  11:10am  |  Score: 7.5
ζθ   “Never going to hear this song on the radio,” Ray Lamontagne sings at the close of his new album.
ζθ   If that sounds like a complaint, in context it reads more like a boast. Lamontagne has seemingly fashioned his sixth album, Ouroboros, as a work of private exploration, a vehicle for divining the inner life far more than a product designed to glad–hand its way up the pop charts.
ζθ   In that sense, Ouroboros greatly extends the path Lamontagne set out on his last work, 2014’s Supernova. Both works favor sounds that implicate rather than state, making full use of fuzz–toned guitars, hazy production and blurry vocal cascades. Likewise, both albums pair the singer with strong–minded producers who double as stars. Supernova matched Lamontagne with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Ouroboros features production from My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Other members of MMJ also play on the new album and will join Lamontagne for his spring/summer tour.
ζθ   While the two albums share a love of psychedelia, they delve into very different sides of its spectrum. Supernova found the husky–throated singer California Dreamin’ his way back to the summery sounds of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. The new album takes him to the dark side — specifically to the Dark Side of the Moon. Ouroboros is both a heavier and a headier work than Supernova, replete with Pink Floyd–style sound effects; Nick Mason–like, mid–paced drumming; and David Gilmore–esque blues guitar reveries. One song, “In My Own Way,” even sounds a bit like Floyd’s Dark Side’s lolling “Us & Them.”
ζθ   To boldface the album’s connection to the art–rock wing of psychedelia, Lamontagne broke it into “Part I” and “Part II.” In the process, the work apes the flip–over flow of ancient vinyl.
ζθ   The result has some consequences. The floating melodies and drenched production take away much of the texture from Lamontagne’s voice — one of its most riveting qualities. Though Lamontagne owns one of the greatest soul shouts of the modern era, he has always been stingy with it. This time, he seems more hellbent on downplaying it than ever.
ζθ   On the other hand, that very evasiveness has always made Lamontagne a fascinating figure. His music has never been obvious or outgoing, preferring to keep the pace slow, the vocals whispered and the focus monk-like. Together, this has made Lamontange one of the most quietly intense singer/songwriters of our time. Unfortunately, parts of Ouroboros seem less “quietly intense” than self–indulgently rote. As if to satirize the problem, the album title refers to a mythical serpent that devours its own tail.
ζθ   Ouroboros does have periods of greater animation — two, in fact. “Hey, No Pressure” resurrects Auerbach’s love of fuzz–toned blues rock, via a hot psychedelic freakout. “The Changing Man” locks two guitars in an exciting coil, with Lamontagne’s lead building to a mad, sawing climax.
ζθ   The album didn’t necessarily need more such outbursts. But it should have made some of its softer sections seem less arbitrary. If all of its parts can’t stand up to scrutiny, however, there’s conviction in the whole, enough to take Lamontagne one step deeper into the mystic. ζθ   http://www.pastemagazine.com/
Also:
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson;  Score: ***½
ζθ   http://www.allmusic.com/album/ouroboros-mw0002913190
Website: http://www.raylamontagne.com/home/
Discography:
ζθ   Trouble (September 14, 2004)
ζθ   Till the Sun Turns Black (August 29, 2006)
ζθ   Gossip in the Grain (October 14, 2008)
ζθ   God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise (August 17, 2010)
ζθ   Supernova (April 29, 2014)
ζθ   Ouroboros (March 4, 2016)
Personal life:
ζθ   In 2009 LaMontagne paid $1.05 million for a 103–acre farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts, the former residence of U.S. Ambassador William C. Bullitt, where he lives with his wife, Sarah Sousa, and their two children in the farmhouse built in 1830. Sousa is a published poet via Red Mountain Press and his sons are budding artists. He refers to himself as a “very private person” and rarely gives interviews.                     
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Ray LaMontagne — Ouroboros (March 4th, 2016)

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