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[Album Review] Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & The C

Ray LaMontagne is a quiet, non-fame seeking musician.  Or as LaMongatne says, "Simply put, I have no interest in fame. My self worth is not tied to other people’s opinions of me—I have a strong sense of self. Music for me is not a vehicle for fame; I just love music."  Despite this lack of a need for commercial fame, LaMontagne has risen to musical prominence with his most recent release God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise. God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise is Ray LaMontagne's fourth studio album and the highest charting album of the raspy-voiced singer-songwriter.  The album was released on August 17, 2010 and has already sold over 74,000 copies.  This is quite an accomplishment for a man who worked at a shoe factory for years before quitting and establishing a music career. Musically, the album is tight and well organized.  Although the musical style is  acoustic-blues/country, which can often head off in rifts and jams, the sounds are crisp, clean, and well placed.  The first single off God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise is the track "Beg Steal or Borrow" is a slow rolling track that features a brilliant slide guitar.  The combination of LaMontagne's  gravelly voice and the smooth twang of southern guitars creates a fantastic balance. From the music side, God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise is a very strong record yet lacks tracks that grab the listener and force them to listen over and over.  There is a tendency of tracks to blur together and lack individuality after multiple listens.  I am sure I will listen to God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise on occasion in the future, but there are no individual tracks on the album that will rise on my "Most Played" playlist on iTunes. This fact should not take away from the strength of the album.  Yes, it may lack the individual tracks to gain radio airplay or tracks that soar on charts, but God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise is still worth listening to and appreciating.  I mean really, should we expect a string of radio chart toppers from a guy who has zero ambition for fame?  Ray LaMontagne writes and records music because it is what he loves to do, not for commercial appeal.  Therefore, LaMontagne has succeeded in staying true to his musical style and desires while still creating a great album. Before you grab yourself a copy of Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dog's God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, check out some older Ray LaMontagne! -Sam Ryan

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08/31/2010 9:12AM
[Album Review] Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise
Please Enter Your Comments Below
08/31/2010 9:39AM
josef
yo this album is brilliant. NPR is streaming it. Check out the whole thing here. http://n.pr/cUQeMC
08/31/2010 9:47AM
Emily Thousand
Hey! Thanks for sharing, that's awesome!
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