David Gray - A New Day At Midnight

For years and I mean years David Gray was a struggling singer songwriter who against the odds stuck to his guns with determination and self belief. His fan base were a select few and although his albums were well received critically he never bothered the charts and remained anonymous to the public at large. When he appeared in the film "This Years Love" basically playing himself, David Gray was virtually an unknown. As we all know his look was about to change. The single "Babylon", was massive, his album "White Ladder" sold millions resulting in a renewed interest in his extensive back catalogue and David's eagerly anticipated new release "A New Day At Midnight" has arrived coinciding with an arena tour tour England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. With twelve new songs, special guests including the talented BJ Cole on his trusty pedal steel, "A New Day At Midnight" looks promising.

Frankly speaking this isn't a million miles away from "White Ladder". It has the same tempo, production values and themes of it's predecessor. That's not to say it isn't worthy of praise because it is. The familiar semi-acoustic arrangement on "Long Distance Call" has Gray's unmistakable voice very high in the mix and Tim Bradshaw is a godsend on the wurlitzer adding a jaunty flavour to this radio friendly track. It's slightly more electronic than usual, but still archetypal David Gray. Global success and new found wealth haven't changed Gray's world view much though. He's still writing lyrics even the most die hard Radiohead fan may find depressing. On "Last Boat To America" the lyrics "Frost on my window frame is forming" doesn't fill me full of positive energy.

"December" is backed my keyboards and a drum machine with lyrics full of self pity and regret, but delivered with dignity. Closing with the memorable "The Other Side" which starts with the simplicity of piano and vocals before kicking in with everything else. Although David Gray fans will love this album to bits, there's nothing new, fresh or original to attract new fans, but it does have it's highlights and is an above average album from and above average artist.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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