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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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David Gray's debut album, A Century Ends, is a true modern classic. With its mixture of acoustic-based protest songs, driving folk-rockers and heartbreaking tales of love, it is clear where Gray's influences lie: Bob Dylan, Van Morrisson and Nick Drake. This, simply, is an incredible collection of raw, emotion soaked songs which tug at the heart strings and refuse to let go. Standout songs are 'Shine' - a magnificent, soaring anthem - 'Debauchery' - a beautiful, desperate plea for love - 'Gathering Dust' - one of the most heartbreaking songs ever and 'Birds Without Wings' - a defiant statement to a callous, uncaring world. These reflective songs are interspersed with louder, more rockier songs such as 'A Century Ends', 'Wisdom' and 'It's All Over' all of which are incredibly powerful. One song - 'Let The Truth Sting' highlights Gray's true lyrical genius, as he hits the listener with image upon beautiful image. This man deserves to be compared with Bob Dylan and the other great solo artists of the past, he is a genius: pure and simple. These songs are life affirming, which is exactly why I urge you to buy this album. You'll thank me afterwards.
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This album was David's first and in most fan's opinion his best. Powerful poetic lyrics make this album mysterious in the fact that David Gray took another 10 years to break through. It was in fact "Shine" the first song on this album that Irish DJ Donal Dineen played on No Disco to start the cult following Gray developed in Ireland. Other tracks of note include "Debauchery" and the title track "A Century Ends". If you own "White Ladder" you simply have to buy this album to see where Gray started and to hear him at his best.
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on 25 September 2004
This is an album which defines the word album. From the first chord in shine, to the dae out on it's all over, you realise you have been in a place were very few albums take you. This album will hit you emotionally, those been shine, lead me upstairs but also you have the happier one's like wisdom and a century ends. this album will make you apprciate music at its finest, and also it should give you respect for a man who deserves so much more. There is not one song on this album which is terrible, and every song is fantastic. if you have not heard this album then you need this, its almost like medication. a century ends is an album quite frankly of the century
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on 28 October 2003
This is my absolute favourite David Gray album. It has so many good songs on it. Shine happens to be my favourite DG song but the whole album is extremely moving.
Its a shame that White Ladder was the first album that really got him noticed on the main stream as that is certainly not his best. If you are going to buy one David Gray album - buy this one. Amazing!!!!!
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on 17 March 2002
Suddenly discovering an artist after he has been around for nine years and released four mainstream albums has its advantages, as listening to the albums in turn is like reading a life story. There is little doubt amoung music lovers with any taste, that Gray's White Ladder is pure genius, and although A Century Ends, his debut album, is not quite on that level, there are hints of genius, which perhaps with hindsight the record labels that dropped Gray will realise were a sign of things to come. Tracks like Shine, Gathering Dust and Living Room and beautiful examples of Gray's brilliant, emotive songwriting talents. If you like White Ladder and The Lost Songs then Gray's different singing style of his preceeding albums may take some getting used to, but after listening to the album for a while you release that this is David Gray through and thrrough. Unfortunately, there is one track called Debauchery, which spoils the effect a little. It is more about lust than love and more about gain than loss, and love and loss are what David Gray does best. However it can be forgiven, as it is a debut album, and a very good one at that.
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on 8 September 2005
Don't compare this to anything he's done since because it just work that way. This is David Gary debut, a raw, folky compilation that combines passion and anger as much as it provokes the same in its' listening audience.
White Ladder seems a million miles away from this album, and that's good thing. I like them both, but for different reasons. If given the choice, this would be the only Dave Gray album I'd take with me if my house was on fire.
Fantastic.
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on 31 January 2004
What a beautiful album!, its perfect if you feel like chilling out on your own or over a bottle of wine with friends. Its great to listen to, or to have as background music. Definatly a fantastic first album, one of the best!
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on 9 September 2001
How come I'd never heard of David until the success of Babylon? This album was his debut and very different from White ladder, its obviously inspired by Irish folk music with plenty of acoustic guitar and thought provoking lyrics. My favourite has to be Debauchery, excellent. Buy this, crack open a beer and chill in your favourite arm chair, you won't be disappointed.
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on 12 July 2000
"A Century Ends" was not the album that made David Gray famous, it was not even an album that anyone ever heard of until the release of the "commercial", "White Ladder". That is what makes this so special, the frustration and anger he felt after years of never being noticed, are so clearly visible. It is as if Gray grabs you by the jugular and says "Damnit listen to me, I'm worth it" which, of course we did, eventually (some of us, anyway). Raw. The only way to describe this album. Acoustic chords, rasping vocals and AN ABSENCE OF KEYBOARDS! One other thing, listen to "Debauchery" and decide for yourself, sexual? angry? or hilarious? GET 'EM OFF!
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on 30 June 2000
If you're one of the people who've just discovered David Gray on back of his recent hit single, and accompanying album White Ladder, then you should definately buy this album. White Ladder is a wonderful album, but A Century Ends is just sublime. It has sounded better & better over the years. Go on, but it . . . this is as good as it gets.
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