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Draw the Line
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: David Gray (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonium, Wurlitzer organ, vibraphone); Neill MacColl (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, background vocals); Robbie Malone (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonium, background vocals); Caroline Dale (cello); Keith Prior (drums, percussion, background vocals); Iestyn Polson (programming).
  • Audio Mixer: Simon Changer.
  • Photographer: Jake Walters.
  • After taking a four-year break from the studio, David Gray announced his return with a new backing band, new label representation, and a new album. 2009's DRAW THE LINE is consistent with the rest of Gray's catalog, proof that the songwriter's appeal rests not in those around him but in his nuanced piano ballads and warm, calloused voice. There are two duets here, one with folk artist Jolie Holland and the other with a rather militant-sounding Annie Lennox, but the best material is reserved for Gray alone. He does what he does best on songs like "Transformation," whose homespun melody is at once warm and utterly heartbreaking, but he also makes room for faster material, from the rhythmic drive of "Stella the Artist" to the casual strut of leadoff track "Fugitive." Regardless of the tempo, Gray's voice remains the centerpiece of this album, as his lived-in vocals continue to amass more convincing grit with age. Those looking for another "Babylon" may not find such commercial strains here, but David Gray hasn't concerned himself with the mainstream for years, and DRAW THE LINE is essentially another cog in the folksy wheel he's been spinning since NEW DAY AT MIDNIGHT.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (p.59) - "On his seventh studio album he gets his freak on, rolling in a gospel choir, Annie Lennox, and a more pronounced backbeat....Gray actually sounds like he's cutting loose." -- Grade: B

Q (Magazine) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Gray's grainy rasp distances him from the pack, lending a rueful authority to the customised likes of 'Draw The Line, 'First Chance' and quietly dynamic 'Breathe.'"
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