10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Ray LaMontagne’s music has long evoked warm memories of early-’70s singer/songwriter fare such as Cat Stevens and James Taylor laced with a true soul man’s wanderlust, the music rarely ventured into grander sonic adventures. With Supernova, LaMontagne is working a variety of approaches that show the sides of the man we all knew existed somewhere in his restless soul. It requires all 10 songs for the trip to conclude. Supernova opens with “Lavender,” a tune guided by producer Dan Auerbach; he gives the track a touch of his Black Keys with an organ that trills and guitars that chop the reverb in half. “Airwaves” chases a jazzy Van Morrison feel to its own perfection. “She’s the One” turns into an aggressive soul rocker. “Pick Up a Gun” and “Smashing” wander through heavily glazed, orchestrated terrains. “Julia” simulates Them’s classic “Gloria.” “No Other Way” uses an organ as its choir. “Supernova” and “Ojai” strip the reverb away from the voice for pulsing ‘60s pop numbers. “Drive-In Movies” touches on country-rock with a skip in its step. It’s a healthy move for a man so often in existential pain. 

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Ray LaMontagne’s music has long evoked warm memories of early-’70s singer/songwriter fare such as Cat Stevens and James Taylor laced with a true soul man’s wanderlust, the music rarely ventured into grander sonic adventures. With Supernova, LaMontagne is working a variety of approaches that show the sides of the man we all knew existed somewhere in his restless soul. It requires all 10 songs for the trip to conclude. Supernova opens with “Lavender,” a tune guided by producer Dan Auerbach; he gives the track a touch of his Black Keys with an organ that trills and guitars that chop the reverb in half. “Airwaves” chases a jazzy Van Morrison feel to its own perfection. “She’s the One” turns into an aggressive soul rocker. “Pick Up a Gun” and “Smashing” wander through heavily glazed, orchestrated terrains. “Julia” simulates Them’s classic “Gloria.” “No Other Way” uses an organ as its choir. “Supernova” and “Ojai” strip the reverb away from the voice for pulsing ‘60s pop numbers. “Drive-In Movies” touches on country-rock with a skip in its step. It’s a healthy move for a man so often in existential pain. 

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Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
580 Ratings

580 Ratings

James Doakes ,

No School like Old School

I love old school Ray. That dirty, grungy, folky sound is what I fell in love with and I don’t feel it in the two songs currently up (hoping the rest of the songs will change my mind). I don’t personally like the jazzy, popish, studio sound but I also don’t I feel like an artist should have to live in the box of his first popular album (or what kind of artist would he be!?)

Sgrode ,

Mehhh

I’ll probably buy because it’s Ray, but wish he’d go back to where he came from. Can hardly hear the voice we all fell in love with over this over-produced junk. I remember seeing him on stage…with just him and his guitar, hiding in the darkness of the stage.

hotsauce1169 ,

Growth is not always bad

The first few listens to the new songs are definitely an adjustment, but I think it’s important to note that RL is obviously in a way different place than he normally is when he writes songs. Those expecting this to sound like Trouble and Gossip in the Grain may be let down, but if you truly appreciate RL’s lyrics and his raspy, grungy voice, you will not be disappointed.

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