MENTION the name David Gray to most members of the British record buying public and the first song that will spring to their minds will be Babylon.
A catchy, ever so slightly dancey tune that briefly made him into one of Britain’s biggest stars in the early noughties, he’s not had as big a hit yet.
Mutineers, to Gray’s credit, isn’t packed with Babylon-alikes – it does have one, but the excellent As the crow flies is good enough to stand on its own two feet. Other highlights are the swooping Birds of the high Arctic and jazzy Girl Like You.
It’s a quiet, contemplative album which often touches on the beautiful but anyone seeking to use it as a barometer of Gray’s state of mind may struggle.
He begins by joyfully announcing his return on the Van Morrison-like romp Back in the World but closing track Gulls finds him insisting “The writing’s on the wall’ over clanging piano which sounds like nothing so much as a death knell.
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By Andrew Greenhalgh