Life in Slow Motion

Life in Slow Motion

4.6 5
by David Gray
     
 

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This Welsh singer-songwriter has long been known for crafting songs marked by low-key intimacy -- a modus operandi he departs from on this disc. To be sure, Life in Slow Motion is as intimate as anything Gray has ever recorded, but there's nothing subtle about its approach. That's clear from the opening strains of the orchestral introduction to "Alibi," aSee more details below

Overview

This Welsh singer-songwriter has long been known for crafting songs marked by low-key intimacy -- a modus operandi he departs from on this disc. To be sure, Life in Slow Motion is as intimate as anything Gray has ever recorded, but there's nothing subtle about its approach. That's clear from the opening strains of the orchestral introduction to "Alibi," a sweeping piano ballad that owes as much to classic prog-rock as it does to the folkier precursors that influenced his earlier work. Stately piano melodies figure prominently in the disc's better songs -- notably "Now and Always" and "Ain't No Love," both of which bear more than a passing similarity to the less arch offerings of Rufus Wainwright. The album is rife with intriguing side trips, from the misty drift of the Welsh-language plaint "Nos da Cariad" to the country-tinged rocker "The One I Love." The more open-ended sonics make perfect sense, given the fact that Life in Slow Motion is far less stark, topically, than A New Day at Midnight -- large swaths of which dealt with the death of Gray's father -- and less introspective than White Ladder. The expansiveness no doubt has something to do with Gray's recent experience in the realm of film -- he scored the acclaimed 2004 movie A Way of Life -- but whatever the catalyst, it's refreshing to hear him exposed to the elements, raw as they may be, rather than sequestered in his insular world.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Life in Slow Motion is an appropriate name for David Gray's sixth album. It's languid and deliberate -- not that this is a bad place for Gray to be, or that it's even a big change of pace for him. As the years passed, he's trimmed away the faster tempos from his music, leaving behind an even-keeled, meditative, soft reflective folk-pop that brought him a hit in 2000 with "Babylon" from his fourth album, White Ladder. Life in Slow Motion isn't too far removed from that album, although it does lack the then-fashionable vague electronica underpinnings. In their place is a mildly lush but not elaborate production that's tasteful and classy, and Gray's songwriting is well mannered and well intentioned. If Gray didn't have a slight rasp to his voice, this music would simply wash over you, since it's a calm, clean album ideal for either background music at work or late-night introspection. Thankfully, the bit of grit in his voice is enough to ground the music. Life in Slow Motion is especially low-key and quiet compared to Gray's other albums, requiring close listening to catch the subtleties in either the lyrics or the music. That means it's a rewarding listen mainly for the faithful who have the time, patience, and inclination to dig into this.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2005
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0880882159627
catalogNumber:
21596

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Gray   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Vocals,Melodica,Wurlitzer
Simon Clarke   Baritone Saxophone
Caroline Dale   Cello
Marius de Vries   Synthesizer,Percussion,Autoharp,Glockenspiel,Recorder,Background Vocals
Kick Horns   Brass
Roddy Lorimer   Trumpet
Robert Malone   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Bass,Electric Guitar,Double Bass
David Nolte   Autoharp,Cello,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Melodica,Sampling
J. Neil Sidwell   Trombone
Paul Spong   Trumpet
Annie Whitehead   Trombone
Tim Bradshaw   Piano,Cello,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Lap Steel Guitar
Nigel Black   French Horn
Dave Lee   French Horn
David Stewart   Bass Trombone
Natalie Mendoza   Background Vocals
Frank Ricotta   Orchestral Percussion
Tim Jones   French Horn
Michael Thompson   French Horn

Technical Credits

Simon Clarke   Assistant Arranger
Marius de Vries   Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
David Gray   Composer,Producer
David Nolte   Orchestral Arrangements
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader
Chris Elliott   Orchestral Arrangements
Tim Bradshaw   String Arrangements
Alexis Smith   Programming
Iestyn Polson   Programming,Producer,Engineer
McClune   Producer
Jason Boshoff   Programming
Joanna Thornhill   Cover Photo

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