David Gray Foundling

David Gray Foundling
David Gray's career has been full of highs and lows, which must be a hard thing to deal with. He most likely never saw the success of "Babylon" coming, especially since it was on his fourth album and he had been existing in relative obscurity until then. But the critical backlash that followed must have been equally puzzling, as his music didn't change that much. Album number nine, Foundling, is more of the same; it isn't the stark, bleak record Gray promised prior to its release, but it isn't a barrel of laughs either. It is remarkably serious though, without much in the way of lightness, and when there are 19 songs spread over two CDs, some lightness wouldn't have been a bad idea. Instead, there are a lot of similar quiet, sad songs with lyrics that are obviously very personal, something that suggests Gray is making music for himself and if anybody else likes it then that's a bonus. If Foundling was ice cream, it would be vanilla. Handmade with all-natural ingredients, perhaps, but ultimately just plain vanilla that desperately needs something added to make it stand out. (Mercer Street)