It's a risky business, trusting TV advertising. You could end up buying any number of useless items. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of music, where it is safe to assume that 97% of albums advertised on TV are pure, unadulterated rubbish. Countless R&B compilations, unstoppable series of "Essential" Trance collections. When oh when does it end?
It ends now. If you're looking at this, it's probably because you've seen an advert for Ray Lamontagne's "Trouble" and realised that perhaps it's not the next in a long series of boil in the bag hi-fidelity sacrilege. Perhaps it's good.
It's hard to tell from the advert, because you only hear a snippet of a chorus, but "Trouble", both song and album, could be the slow-burning hit of the year. It's a record with such appealling folk brilliance that it would be hard to imagine anybody but the most hard-hearted of cultural buffoons not enjoying it. Indeed, I have rarely been so excited by every single track on an album that I listen to the whole thing again as soon as it comes to an end.
Lamontagne's voice is a glorious thing - rough edged, raw and flagrantly, excessively powerful. Does he use a microphone? Perhaps he sings from the next room to avoid damaging the audio equipment in the studio? But alongside such power is a delicacy, and wonderfully poetic touch that brings pleasing contrast to his songs.
And what excellent songs. Each track stands out, a neat and perfect study of love, confusion, and more often than not the affirmation that life in all it's craziness is a wonderful thing. You'll find yourself smiling, singing along before you even know that you remember the words.
Don't take my word for it though - trust the advertisers this once and buy it for yourself. You'll be glad that you did.