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Ray LaMontagne – Monovision (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Ray LaMontagne – Monovision (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:14 minutes | 932 MB | Genre: Alternative, Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RCA Records Label

Ray LaMontagne has been making albums long enough to firmly establish the warm rusticity of his singer-songwriter approach, then pursue his more psychedelic inclinations. On his eighth full-length, MONOVISION, he circles back to a sort of considered simplicity: He not only handled all of the production on his own, but the playing and engineering too. LaMontagne gives his pastoral paeans, like “Summer Clouds” and “Rocky Mountain Healin’,” handsome acoustic arrangements, while the folk-pop “Morning Comes Wearing Diamonds” and “Weeping Willow” each get entwining two-voice harmonies. He reserves his soul rasp for “Strong Enough” and “Roll Me Mama, Roll Me,” but otherwise reminds what a precise, elegant singer he can be when he wants to. The overall mood, well captured by “We’ll Make It Through,” is one of firm but weathered optimism. “Together we’ll get through,” he vows during that song in a soft, woolen timbre, settling into the next, pivotal line with a hint of resignation: “We always do.”

With Part of the Light (2018), Ray LaMontagne returned to his roots with his mix of Nick Drake-style folk, southern soul, fat-free blues and classic rock. The psychedelic influences of old Pink Floyd albums that were noticeable on Ouroboros (2016) felt like a distant memory. With Monovision, the American songwriter cements his sound, confirming that it’s closer to Cat Stevens than David Gilmour. With this eighth album, he’s a little closer to sitting on the throne of Americana. When he presses down on the accelerator (Strong Enough), the virile toughness of Creedence Clearwater Revival doesn’t feel too far away. And when he starts daydreaming (We’ll Make It Through) it’s hard – especially with the harmonica – not to think of Neil Young. But at the age of 46 and having spent more than two decades on the scene, Ray LaMontagne has a sound of his own. Yes, he has rather typical voice though it never stops him venturing past the heavy shadows of his spiritual forefathers. So much so that this extremely purified 2020 vintage is perhaps the album that sounds most like Ray LaMontagne. – Marc Zisman

1. Roll Me Mama, Roll Me (04:05)
2. I Was Born to Love You (04:14)
3. Strong Enough (03:36)
4. Summer Clouds (04:25)
5. We’ll Make It Through (06:03)
6. Misty Morning Rain (05:42)
7. Rocky Mountain Healin’ (04:17)
8. Weeping Willow (03:24)
9. Morning Comes Wearing Diamonds (04:00)
10. Highway to the Sun (05:28)


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