Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Snigger all you like, student indie-snobs, one day you'll have a mortgage to pay too.

DAVID GRAY “Greatest Hits” (East West)

There are lots of people out there who seem to dislike David Gray intensely. For some it’s because he brought busking into the charts. Some people dislike him because they doubt his sincerity, others because his voice seems affected. Yet more people dislike his apparent wetness, and to some he’s a villain because he paved the way for the even less fondly regarded James Blunt. Gray’s rise to popularity seemed to usher in the age of what some commentators are fond of calling “mortgage rock”; a clearly dismissive term which puts paid to having to write anything at all sensible or thoughtful about bands such as Keane, Coldplay and Snow Patrol. A listen to this Greatest Hits album, does not reveal the blandorama Gray’s critics accuse him of cooking up. His reworking of “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” is not included here, which will be either a blessing or a swizz depending on where you stand the David Gray “issue”. However, the memorable, gentle piano ballad “This Year’s Love” is present and correct, as is the really quite excellent single “Sail Away”. The admittedly overplayed, but really-not-as-ropey-as-you-might-remember-it “Babylon” is also included. Elsewhere, lesser known singles such as “The Other Side” reveal some surprisingly dark lyrics. Fans will own everything here bar two tracks, one of which is recent single “You’re The World To Me”, but there are pleasant surprises in store for the open-minded. (8 out of 10)