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FUV's New Dig: Ray LaMontagne

by Darren DeVivo
A A

Supernova
Ray LaMontagne
RCA Records


If you think you have Ray LaMontagne figured out, think again.

Ray LaMontagne is an artist willing to take chances. He isn't interested in staying in one place, locking his music to a safe and predictable vibe. His new album, Supernova, dispels any preconceived notions about what his music will be, or what it will sound like.

Virtually everything is different with LaMontagne's fifth album, his first in nearly four years. His journey outside his musical comfort zone started with a new approach to songwriting: Once a batch of new songs and ideas emerged, he turned to producer Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) to guide his vision. He provided Auerbach with a detailed roadmap, filled with musical detours. Both artists embraced the idea of creating a different sort of Ray LaMontagne album.

Within seconds you can tell this is different. The opening song, the appropriately titled "Lavender," takes the music back to the 1960s, recalling the hazy, psychedelic pop of the Zombies. "No Other Way" seems cut from the same paisley cloth as the Rolling Stones' "Dandelion." Van Morrison is channeled through the thickness of "Airwaves," while "Ojai" and "Drive-In Movies" reminds fans of what made them Ray LaMontagne enthusiasts in the first place.

In addition to the new musical regions explored on Supernova, LaMontagne changes the shape of his vocals, pushing his wonderful, soulful voice to places it has rarely explored in the past.

Coming almost ten years after his debut album, Trouble, Ray LaMontagne seems more than willing and completely able to take his music, and his fans, on a journey filled with the magnificence and energy of a real supernova.
 

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