4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2009
I had to check to see if this was the same guy I had been listening to just a few hours before a mate gave me `Free` to give a listen to.Dark and moody, soulful, emotional and very beautiful. This album has very little in common with Gavin`s previous albums, it sounds... dare I say it...more `mature`. Any way you view it this is a `do not miss` album, though I`m sure there are some out there who will call it a yawnfest, the same guys who thought The Foofighters acoustic DVD was boring. Ah.. but the world is cursed with some who cannot appreciate the true quality of fine and true musicianship as opposed to volume and bass drum beats per min. I love this album, I aint stopped playing it since I nicked it from me mate. Give it a blast, (especially if you have a mate you can nick it from), its worth fighting your mate for.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2010
Firstly - only one review so far on this album? That's almost sacrilige. Meh, at least it's a 5* review!
I have been a fan of Gavin's voice for years and years but have not always loved the production of his records. 'Chariot Stripped' was the album that showed me his potential, but he completely lost me when he released his self titled album 'Gavin Degraw'. My interest in his music halted and I didn't even bother to find out when he was releasing a new record. He has a voice that oooozzzzeeesss soul and I get right royally vexed when it sounds like it has been put through a synthisizer. I remember going to a concert of his with a friend, who on the strengh of the gig brought his album 'Chariot' but couldn't understand how he sounded so completely different (read: better) live in comparison to the CD.
I do not count myself as a musical snob that can't appreciate a good produced pop song - I can - but when the tone of a voice is lost and the production takes over, I just don't see the point for an artist like DeGraw. Tone of voice and innotation is one of the many things that attracts me to an artist and on this record I think Gavin gets a lot closer to the mark.
Based on the above, I am very late coming to this record. It was released in 2009, and here I am half way through 2010 having only had the album for just under a month. That is how much I had distanced myself from him, and the fact I am bothering to write a review for amazon is how much he has drawn me back in.
I personally like the laid back, almost melancholic tone of the album. Lyrically I also think it is great but this is probably because he sings like he believes in the words. Get someone to sing the same words without the passion and belief and I would think they were rubbish. That's the thing with lyrics - you need the right person to make them mean something and come alive.
'Mountains to Move' for me showcases his voice perfectly. He uses the lower tone of his range which I think he sometimes neglects.
Then, to totally contradict myself, 'Waterfall' is sung at the higher end of his register and sounds soooooo good. I think this is down to the simplicity of the recording and how close it comes to the sound he gets at concerts.
I'm not going to go through an analysis for each song but I will say that if you are in a kind of reflective mood, stick this album on and close your eyes. It really is a stunning showcase of what he is capable of. I think and am hopeful that this release will draw some additions to his fanbase and I know that many of my friends who have turned their nose up at him before, are now asking me to let them know when he will be touring here again.
To me, this album is such a HUGE step for Gavin and whilst I am not completely dissing some of his older songs, I am dissing the recording of them and they do seem VERY mediocre now I can compare it to the sound of this record. That's what has always annoyed me about being a Gavin fan ... knowing just how talented his voice is but not having the recordings and production to showcase how it should be. I think that is why many of us have poured over youtube postings of acoustic gems of some of his more middle of the road songs. They instantly sound better.
The only thing stopping me from going to his next UK concert whenever that may be is the constant screaming girls that punctuate ... constantly punctuate his music. Call me an old woman even if I am still in my mid 20's but I just ain't down with that and it kind of ruins the gig for me. Don't get me wrong, I all for a 'whoop' here and a 'hell yeah' there but peeps, this is a musical performance, not a strip show. I do not see however how on earth you can scream to the songs on this album, so maybe, just maybe, I'll shell out some pennies and make the trip.
Well, this has turned out to be more of a lyrical waxing about my musical relationship with DeGraw rather than the CD release itself, but I hope you will give it an unbiased listen and make up your own mind whether you are a non fan, lapsed fan, or completely new to his music.