The latter is provided by the docile Leona Naess, harmonizing on the chorus of “Why did you go, away”.
Ray even takes a brief dip into Dixieland with the rootsy foot-stomper “Hey Me, Hey Mamma", a rare laidback moment where the artist actually seems to be having a good time. The painfully obvious homage to Meg White is either a form of insincere flattery or a sappy love song, take your pick.
Where La Montagne usually places his forlorn lyrics over some gentle strumming, the supporting cast takes center stage here as Gossip in the Grain is La Montagne's first album with what would be considered a full band.
Let It Be Me slows things down with what Ray is great at, well written slow songs.
The song does not stray from what he is known for and makes for a good song his fanbase will enjoy.
Whatever the case, the song isn't half bad sans the jokester lyrics, so I'll give Ray a pass on this one.
While Ray may not have exorcised his demons here, Gossip in the Grain shows that he is not some drug-addled, half-baked songwriter.
Now we get Gossip in the Grain, the artist's most cohesive, career-defining album to date.
Most notably, the folksy balladeer takes a backseat here.
Despite his scrawny frame, La Montagne can sometimes approach a full-bodied baritone, and here he displays it in the depth of a soul singer.
(“I’m eventually learned to sing from here,” he once said in an interview, alluding to his stomach.) “Sarah” is a sprawling sentimental number where La Montagne reminisces over some soothing strings and unobtrusive finger-picking.
A tender reverie of his youth, he pleads, “Sarah, is it ever gonna be the same?
” “A Falling Through" is vaguely similar to Trouble’s “All the Wild Horses”, mostly because Ray and his guitar come to the fore this time, leaving most of the band behind except for some pedal steel and backing vox.
Probably the most simple and raucous song on Gossip, “Meg White” has Ray claiming that Ms.