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4.6 out of 5 stars149
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2006
I am a nurse and work nights. When my radio alarm clock woke me today at 14.30 'Trouble' was what I heard. By 16.00 I was playing my own CD. I went out tonight for a meal but I could hardly get home quick enough (so sad, I know). It is now 01.30 and I'm still playing this fabulous CD.

There is some of the most heart achingly beautiful music here. Especially Ray LaMontagne's honey toned voice and his sensitive and intelligent lyrics, and I know it will be a favourite of mine for a very long time.

It starts with 'Trouble' and I braced myself for disappointment as I couldn't imagine it getting much better, but it does, there's not a single track I don't like. Other reviews have drawn comparisons with Van Morrison, Bob Dylan etc and it's all true, but please don't think it is dated.

I feel as if I have waited for quite a few years for a gem like this to come along and I can't wait for his next.
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on 30 January 2007
Have been a fan of ray's for a long time-was lucky enough to see him in a tiny venue a few years ago, where he basically played this album-just him, his guitar and a double bass player.

This album is the nuts-Trouble and it's chorus reminds me of Otis Redding's "I've been loving you too long" with his swooping vocal stle in the chorus. Ray's voice can go gospel with amazing strength and clarity, but can also go hushed and mournful too. To give you a guide, I definitely come in on the gospel/tougher side of things (huge fan of James Brown, Otis, the Black Keys blah blah). Overall,the slower, softer side of the album does win out, but the tunes, for me at least, are so beautiful (by and large) that it really doesn't matter. Give it a go, and if you can, go and see him in concert. His new album, and his newer gigs are, unfortunately, veering to the softer, more morose side of things, but he still possesses one of the greatest live voices you will ever hear.
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on 21 June 2006
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.
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on 8 August 2006
It is very unusual to find music like this with such captivating and emotional suspense. I can't stop listening to it. 'Trouble' and 'Hold you in my arms' are my favourites. Do not hesitate to buy this album you won't regret it.
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on 5 July 2005
It is simply pointless to attempt to compare Ray with any other artist - he is in a league of his own. I've now seen him play live twice - and both turned into one of the most powerful and amazing nights of my life. A shy, breakable figure with a mournful face that might have faded into insignificant, if it were not for his staggeringly powerful voice, that hardly seems to stem from the same mouth that whispers his painfully shy greeting. He sings from the gut - sharing his innermost thoughts and hopes.

There is not one skippable song on this album - few can failed to be moved by 'Hannah' ('I would walk one mile on just broken glass to fall down at your feet'), stirred by 'How Come', or able to identify with 'Jolene' ('I still don't know what love is'). Stand out track for me is the spine-tingling 'Burn' ('Try to ignore, all this blood on the floor, it's just this heart on my sleeve that's bleeding').

Utterly significant in today's world but with the class and beauty of the oldies. Ray's songs sound like they should be classics - whilst listening to him, it's easy to imagine that you have been raised listening to his edgy guitar chords and rousing strings.

There is not one flaw on this album, it is simply absolute perfection.
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Ray Lamontagne, a new name in the market, and an image of a great singer/songwriter is what we have here. A true find, a voice like no others. He has been compared to Otis Redding, Van Morrison and David Grey, However, Ray has a voice of his own, sometimes gravelly, always luscious. His first CD "Trouble" is bound to be a great one. The lyrics alone are enough to bring in accolades, but his voice and the music behind him, guitar, and harmonica and sometimes brass are all he needs. This is one to be remembered.
Ray Lamontagne spent most of his life moving around with his family, but found himself settled in Maine. He says he was an "oddball", always in trouble and hated school. He and his mom would have fights about his education. He finally made it through high school, just barely. He was working in a shoe mill when he woke up one morning to a tune on the radio that resonated in his head. He suddenly realized "This is what I am meant to be doing", singing and songwriting. .He never went back to the mill. He set out to find his true vocation. He was found by the people he needed to meet and made this CD in California. Now Ray Lamontagne is touring all over the world, bringing his voice and music to us. I first saw/heard him on Conan O'Brien signing the title song, "Trouble". His voice has a mesmerizing quality that resounds with true vitality.
He has written and sings his own songs. "Trouble" is my favorite with "All the Wild Horses" a close second. However, each song has a place of its own. Ray Lamontagne has given us a CD that begs to be listened to over and over again. Each time you pick up another sound, another lyric you might have missed before that puts the pieces of this CD together.
A cold winter's night with a fire in the stove, kicking leaves on a frosty autumn day, or sitting in the sunshine on a spring day when the air is fresh and clean are some of the best times to listen to this CD, but, in reality, there isn't a bad time to listen. Love this singer, Ray Lamontagne. Highly recommended. prisrob
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on 13 January 2005
OK - so calling him the new Bob Dylan is tedious and trite - but that is what they are saying about Ray LaMontagne.....I disagree - but only because his voice is the most soulful thing I have ever heard coming out of a white man's mouth. He reminds me of Al Green the way he sings - his semi-gospel blues tones ringing out in lines like 'I've been saaaaved by a woman' on the sublime opener 'Trouble'.
When you find an artist like this - and a debut LP like this - its hard not to reccommend it to everyone that you know lives and breathes this man clearly does.
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on 10 August 2006
This is my first review EVER but i felt compeled to write it after hearing this album. Think Bob Dylan meets Bruce Springsteen and your there. The lyrics and vocals on this album are beautiful, every song has a story to tell, particularly BURN, which for me is the best track. This album made me stop and listen from start to finish, a truly stunning debut album from a truly stunning talented singer
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on 25 September 2005
Got to hear of this album through our nephew who is 21 years old. I am 45 and was brought up through the 60's, 70's 80's etc. I have heard some stunning music and have some really good favourites, but never have I found it difficult to continue what I was doing, when listening to a CD. There is something about this bloke, that just stops you in your tracks. Yes, he has a good voice, yes, the songs are captivating, but he has the ability to say stop and listen when he performs. Can't wait for his next album.
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on 26 September 2006
'Trouble' melts my heart when I listen to it. There are tracks on the album that fire through my emotions with such resonance I have to skip songs somedays to keep myself together. 'Trouble', 'Shelter' and 'Burn' are mesmerising - 'Burn' in particular reflecting many of my own personal experiences. But I must admit, I enjoy listening to Ray more when he comes out of his shell, and bellows with his sandpapery voice so loud it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The man sings like a lion, with 'Hold You In My Arms', 'Forever My Friend', and 'Howcome' showing his vocal range. It sounds like a man singing with a fire in his belly, and in his throat - which is why I bought the album. Unfortunately, I feel there are too many moments within the songs where Ray sounds like a lost soul singing in his bedroom, not wanting to wake his family. I think Ray should just 'let go' and just lose himself on a few tracks. The song 'Trouble', which absolutely makes the album, is the reason everyone has bought it, and Ray is projecting his feelings out with that biblical voice - a few more tracks like that and this would be one of the best albums ever written. I hope his next offering takes this intense style of songwriting to a new level, and is a little bit louder!
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