Ray Lamontagne Ouroboros
Published Mar 04, 2016Ouroboros finds Ray Lamontagne digging deeper into the well of psychedelia he tapped into on 2014's Supernova. With My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James on board for production duties, Lamontagne has crafted his moodiest album to date, running on hazy guitars and a dedication to the slow build of a master craftsman.
Lamontagne has never been a songwriter to hurry the listener through the proceedings, and Ouroboros is no different. Everywhere you turn, there's space to absorb the atmosphere and hear the breathing of the songs. More than any other record in his catalogue, this is a record that gives mood and feeling as much room as the songwriting itself. Lamontagne keeps his voice near a whisper; save for a roaring moment on the distorted highlight "While It Still Beats," his signature wail is kept caged up. His voice gets swallowed up, to great effect, on some of the heavier numbers like "Changing Man," but when the guitar swells die down and things calm, Lamontagne's voice proves as beautiful and aching as ever.
The album closes with the declaration, "You're never gonna hear this song on the radio," and while Lamontagne is probably right about that, you can't help but feel the world of radio is being cheated a bit on this one. (RCA)