Alison inhabits–and liberates–the very essence that makes each of the songs eternal. While they span different eras and musical genres, there is a unifying sensibility. Some of the songs are familiar–like “Gentle On My Mind,” a signature song of Glen Campbell’s, and “You Don’t Know Me” which was a hit for Eddy Arnold and Ray Charles. Others were lesser known, like Willie Nelson’s “I Never Cared For You” and “All Alone Am I,” originally recorded by Brenda Lee.
Twenty one years since his first studio album, David Gray’s tenth and latest, Mutineers, finds the singer-songwriter steering into unfamiliar territory while cultivating a pugnacious but respectful relationship with his own history. “I think if you’re going forward with an open heart, good things will happen,” says David. “You have to sort of tear up the past and let it go.”
David’s past includes the phenomenal success of White Ladder (seven million copies sold), one of three UK number one albums, with records that became ubiquitous and others that needed to be sought out to be heard. It’s a richness of terrain and experience over a duration that belies the traditions and expectations of popular music as surely as the songs themselves.
Despite such variance in both the content and reception of his prior output, the only certainty David had at the commencement of his new recording was the need to surprise himself, not just in terms of how he worked, but the ideas that drove him and the people he worked with.