Words by Brittany Norvell

Change is good, and it feels like after 10 years in the industry, Ray LaMontagne is expanding his sound and taking chances while still maintaining the scruffy, grungy vocals that have likened him to Van Morrison and Otis Redding, and helped him amass a fan base of ten of thousands soul-searching Millennials.

Last week Mr. LaMontagne released his fifth album, Supernova, the follow up to his 2010 Grammy-winning, God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise. Ray brought Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys on board to produce this newest work, which, while resulting in mixed reviews, made for the next logical progression in this singer/songwriter’s career.

The first track “Lavender” opens and I feel as though I’ve been transported to a different time – like listening to a male lead with Jefferson Airplane in late 60’s psychedelic pop scene. “Pick Up a Gun” starts darker, then evolves from electric riffs to acoustic rhythms as LaMontagne’s crooning voice cries out to a lost lover whom he may never see again.

Another hard hitter on the album is the title song, “Supernova,” which exudes tones that remind me of a young Bob Seger strumming out to “Against the Wind.” The song’s familiar quality oozes with comfort and is coupled with a fun head-bobbing chorus that is sure to charm the flannel off the finest hipster.

Supernova is altogether a great record, but fans of LaMontagne’s earlier works may be surprised by an album with such a full production sound. To the delight or dismay of LaMontagne’s critics and fans, at the end of the day you’ll still love his beard, and paternal, assuring voice.

Ray LaMontagne
RCA Records
© April 29th, 2014



TheWaster.com | Supernova