Personnel: Ray LaMontagne (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Spanish guitar, Fender Rhodes piano); Ray LaMontagne; David Gold (violin, viola); Christopher Cardona, Lorenza Ponce, Antoine Silverman (violin); Jane Scarpantoni (cello); Peck Allmond (flute, trumpet, euphonium); Vincent Chancey (French horn); Jack Schatz (euphonium); John Medeski (electric piano, Wurlitzer organ); Rachael Yamagata (background vocals); Ethan Johns (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro, ukulele, piano, reed organ, synthesizer, acoustic bass, drums, percussion, programming); Matthew Cullen.
Audio Mixer: Ethan Johns.
Recording information: Allaire Studios, Shokan, NY; Three Crows Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Dan Winters; Rachael Yamagata.
Ray LaMontagne's second release on RCA, 2006's TILL THE SUN TURNS BLACK, follows many of the cues of his superb debut TROUBLE. He is still a consummate student of classic singer-songwriter rock in the vein of Neil Young, and as in some of Young's most heartfelt work, cinematic string flourishes swell behind introspective lyrics and the thrust of a beautifully understated voice. "Never learned to count my blessings, I choose instead to dwell in my disasters" La Montagne sings on "Empty," and his near whisper invites the listener to do the same. "You Can Bring Me Flowers" rewrites the Stones' classic "Dead Flowers" from the perspective of the jilted lover and "Three More Days" echoes the blue-eyed husky funk of Joe Cocker. LaMontagne is certainly a classicist, but his deft chops reinvigorate the familiar with a flair all the singer's own.
Entertainment Weekly (p.79) - "La Montagne is a suede-voiced singer with a dark streak....[The album] teases out his R&B side..." -- Grade: B+
Q (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's a mesmerising, beautiful record that grows more absorbing with each play. It's heartbreaking without being indulgent..."
Uncut (p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "TILL THE SUN...has far more texture, making use of strings, swampy guitars and Memphis horns....[An] ultimately brave and rewarding record."
Down Beat (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "LaMontagne combines strong, welcoming melodies with lyrics rich in imagery and emotional detail..."
Dirty Linen (p.42) - "This is an album just chock-full of great textures, with LaMontagne using his voice to croon, soothe, rasp, or cry."
No Depression (p.117) - "LaMontagne sounds like no one so much as himself -- an urgent, introspective troubadour with a gruff burr..."