One Track Mind: David Gray, “Back In The World” from Mutineers (2014)

This is the sound of someone finding something new, of choosing to change and then not just understanding what that choice means but embracing it. David Gray is singing with a simple directness that largely wasn’t there before — like someone who’s found himself.

And, maybe he did. Once Gray decided to stop a seemingly endless ride on the touring merry go round, it’s as if he finally was able to hear himself think again. “Back in the World,” the lead track from Gray’s forthcoming 10th studio effort Mutineers, telegraphs that in a visceral way.

The song unfolds as if the music is tracing behind the lyric, like his thoughts and emotion are serving as the engine — rather than, say, the drums or the riff. And every utterance offers its own confidential revelation, none of them that large but all of them thrumming with a visceral specificity.

Welcome back, Mr. Gray.

Mutineers, produced with Andy Barlow for Kobalt Label Services, is due on June 17, 2014.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.

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