Review: David Gray, A New Day at Midnight

With his fifth album, the Manchester-born singer-songwriter delivers more of his new millennium folk.

David Gray, A New Day at MidnightWith his fifth album A New Day at Midnight, Manchester-born singer-songwriter David Gray delivers more of his new millennium folk. Continuing the trend set by his recent digital-meets-twang concoctions (the fizzy yet earnest “Please Forgive Me”), “Caroline” and “Long Distance Call” mix electronic beats with more organic elements like acoustic guitar and piano. Whether he’s tackling faith and God (“Dead in the Winter”) or just plain ol’ love (“Be Mine”), Gray exhibits shades of Bob Dylan but he often gets caught up in the grandeur of his words—he sings “I hear the voice of Eden cry…Makes me wanna lay down and die” on “Real Love.” Gray fares better when he’s pining simply: “I need you more than I can say…But all I get is further away.” Still, tracks like “December” are too sonically minimalist and lyrically vague for their own good and Gray’s country-tinged voice doesn’t always mesh well with the album’s electronic flourishes.

 Label: RCA  Release Date: October 28, 2002  Buy: Amazon

Sal Cinquemani

Sal Cinquemani is the co-founder and co-editor of Slant Magazine. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Village Voice, and others. He is also an award-winning screenwriter/director and festival programmer.

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