David Gray

Musicians who are fortunate enough to experience longevity in their careers are sweet on experimenting in order to keep themselves from losing interest and becoming completely sterile. This often upsets longtime fans who would prefer that each album simply sound like an extension of their favorite. Experimentation, however, is necessary to maintain the integrity and reputation of the artist as "serious" and "dynamic." Seven albums and more than a decade into a career full of enough platinum to make Lil Jon scream something other than "Yeah!," David Gray sounds as lukewarm and sterile as ever -- with no sign of experimentation or disillusioned fans in sight. Like the music of his cheese-dick counterparts John Mayer and Coldplay, Gray's songs are still best served up as background sound for introspective photo collages and pensive reality-TV moments. Life in Slow Motion may be a departure from the sparsely electronic, lo-fi bedroom-session success of Gray's previous work, but only in its overproduced, real-recording-studio aesthetic. For him, No Risks + Piano + Insincerity = Lots of Records Sold. It's hard to argue with that math. In terms of integrity, though, let's just say this shit isn't exactly scratching any Gray matter.


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