Editors’ Notes Ray Lamontagne’s voice is a glorious roar, pitched somewhere between the pleading of Otis Redding and the sun-dazzled mania of Van Morrison. His debut album wisely restricts accompaniment to a bare minimum—acoustic guitar, piano, bass, and drums, with occasional violins or percussion for emphasis—so Lamontagne can cry his soul out unimpeded. His anguish is constant, beautiful, and plain, whether he’s bereft of company (“Hold You in My Arms,” “Burn”), thankful for attention (“Trouble,” “Forever My Friend”), or simply lost (“Shelter”).

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