Ok, let's get this cleared up straight away, "A New Day At Midnight" is certainly no "White Ladder" part 2. The death of Gray's father haung over the recording of this album and ultimately contributed to it's much more downbeat and moving feel. You also have to respect Gray for making the kind of album he wanted rather than recycle his previous outing - which no doubt the record company would have pushed him for. However, the 12 tracks on offer here reafirm Gray as a highly talented singer-songwriter. Moody, introspective and sentimental the album is a winner from start to finish. The only criticism is that there are no obvious big singles on the album (perhaps with the exceptions of "Dead In The Water" an "Be Mine"). These are the kind of personal songs that need to be experienced as one long album listen rather than 3 minute radio extracts sandwiched between the latest reality TV wannabe and r 'n' b soundalikes. Of course, that's a shame, as the album deserves to be brought to a wider audience...but their lost is our undoubted again. That said though, Gray's name alone should see "New Day..." doing decent business at the tills. A moody masterpiece for adults!
Probably I'm one of the very few people who were a bit disappointed by "White Ladder", David's 1998/2000 breakthrough-album. But to me it always sounded a bit sterile and bloodless, although it's still a great album. I always liked his earlier albums more, which are more acoustic and spontaneous. Here's the combination. The programmed, intimate elements of White Ladder, combined with the freshness of "Flesh" or "Sell, Sell, Sell". Already the first song "Dead in the Water" is full of an energy which is missing on White Ladder. Other Highlights are (for me) "Freedom", a beautiful slow song with brass introduction, "Real Love", a typical Gray song that could have been a missing "A Century Ends" track, "Be Mine" and the closing song "The Other Side", which starts as a piano ballad and then builds up. "A New Day At Midnight" has the best of each side there is to David Gray. Really, really good!
Don't be discouraged by negative reviews. Some people will never like change - does anyone remember how Dylan was booed by British audiences when he first "went electric"? He went on to confound the critics and so will David Gray. Put pre-conceived ideas out of your mind and give this album a fair hearing. You won't hear more beautiful and intelligent songs than "Freedom", "Be Mine", "Kangaroo", "Last Boat To America"...Well, I could go on and name every track. I even like the much criticised "Caroline" - I don't know what he was on when he wrote it ("a steel eyed dinosaur"?) but it's a bouncy little song that gets in your head. Most of the music here, though, touches your heart as well as your mind. Just listen - chances are you'll fall in love with these songs. Oh, and try to see the guy perform live - he's brilliant.
David gray and white ladder was a sensation that hit in 2000 even though he has been at the top of his game since 1992. This album is a continuation of ten years of work that is as deep in depth as it is deep in adjectives to describe it. The man is a legend and when he picks up a guitar, sits down at a piano or picks up a pen the results are mindblowing. This album has been criticised as a poor follow up to white ladder, wrong. They are two different albums that show how varied david gray can be. Compare flesh and life in slow motion and the similarities are few and far between but the sounds are equally awesome. This is a great album, anything david gray has produce holds something different and can be counted as the true alternative to mechanical pop or distortion smered rock. A legend
No it doesnt have a poppy single hit like White Ladder was full of ... but that does not make it any less of a great work. Beautifully crafted songs with rich and melancholy undertones. This is one I'll be listening too for many many many years and its a welcome addition to my collection. STOP trying to compare it to White Ladder and accept that it is different ... and equally magnificent.
If David Gray were anyone else, flush with multi-million album sales, he would have gone off to Saint Tropez with a hot young producer and a 50 piece orchestra (with optional Gospel choir), and recorded an album that would sound exactly like his last, only more expensive. Instead, because he IS David Gray, he returned to the studio where he recorded White Ladder, with the same band and production team and recorded one of the most brilliant and personal albums of his career. It is an album that won't strike you immediately. Everyone who has heard (and reviewed) this album has commented upon the fact that it will take you several listens before it reveals its magic to you. But it IS worth the effort. This is one of those albums that has you reaching for the play button as soon as it stops! "Freedom" will be one of the first songs that stands out. It's a deeply personal song that features one of the best choruses he's ever written, which is fine praise for a songwriter who's choruses always manage to sound effortless and freshly minted. "Real Love" is wonderful, perhaps a future single as is "Be Mine". But slowly, the others start to reveal their charms, such as "Knowhere", "Kangaroo" and "Long Distance Call". A few songs, such as "Caroline" do suffer from needlessly overcooked production, but "Caroline" just proves that if it's a great song, no matter how you smother it in extraneous beeps and squelchy noises, it will still sound great! The album closer "The Other Side" will be a highlight for most people, a wonderfully heartfelt song about unrequited love, which most people I'm sure will relate to. One of the great things about this album is how Gray has seemingly taken the best of White Ladder and fused it with the best of his earlier work, such as "Sell, Sell, Sell". It's a superb accomplishment and only serves to heighten one's sense of awe. If you thought White Ladder was good and are unsure about whether this will live up to your expectations - don't be. It's everything White Ladder was and more.=
What can I say after ten years David still writes beautifully crafted songs that are not only catchy but moving too. I think one thing that sets this album out from the previous ones is firstly obviously the bigger budget anabling them to use much more Loops and electronic effects especially on my personal favourite song Long Distance Call. Other Songs of note for me are Freedom, Dead in the Water, Be mine and the catchy quite fast moving, Knowere. Personally I feel that this is a must have piece of music that by far overshadows a lot of the stuff available at the moment in the pop scene. I have to say that i didn't think all the songs were great. The last three didn't grab me even the Single the Other side but hey it's still over all a great album Listen and enjoy.