Ray LaMontagne has released Supernova, his first album since 2010's God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise. Listen to the full album stream above, via Spotify.
Produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, the album is a sonic masterpiece. Individual tracks of vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and other instrumentation sound gorgeous and organic, while electronic effects and studio tricks create interesting and unique textures that can be otherworldly at times. Dreamy, swirling grooves and melodies permeate the 10 songs and 42 minutes of Supernova, and listening to the full album through is a rewarding and immersive experience. The album is steeped in '60s psychedelia of the British variety, with lush production and huge reverb.
Through the album, LaMontagne's voice changes (both literally and figuratively). Early on, he brushes aside his funky R&B persona for a more psychedelic rock style. "Lavendar" is a great opening track, setting the tone for the journey that the listener is about to be taken on. From there, LaMontagne taps into a raspy in-your-face style on "Airwaves," "She's The One," and "Pick Up A Gun." The first half of the album is an adrenaline rush that will get your heart beating a little faster, and should certainly be listened to at a loud volume.
The biggest weakness in Supernova might be that some songs, especially "Julia" and "Smashing," sound a little too contrived from that bygone early psych era. They could be great songs in concert (or on mind altering hallucinogens), but on the album they seem forced and a little out of sorts as I write this review on nothing more than caffeine. There are cool moments tucked into each of those songs, but for my taste they sound busy and tiresome.
The title track, "Supernova," could be one of the hit songs of the summer, with a really strong groove and catchy hooks. The other lead single, "Drive-in Movies," closes the album, and has a very classic '70s country rock sound. "No Other Way" and "Ojai" are strong album tracks that showcase LaMontagne's vocal talent and prove he still has the ability to melt hearts as a smooth crooner when he wants to.
For Ray LaMontagne's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.