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Album: David Gray, Foundling (IHT/Polydor)

By Andy Gill

Having spent four years working on last year's Draw The Line, David Gray returns in feverish haste with Foundling, which has the misfortune of sharing its title with this May's superior album by Mary Gauthier.

While Gauthier's songs were hewn from experience and rendered without fuss, Gray's are so swaddled in "poetic" obfuscation it's hard to summon enough interest to decode them. Rather than windows into the soul, they're doors slammed against intrusion – and he must know that any song which requires the use of the word "transcendent" isn't achieving that state. The most satisfying track is the simplest, "Forgetting", whose spare piano chords conceal the best line, about "your smiles at the wake and your tears at the wedding"; otherwise, it's fairly grim going.

DOWNLOAD THIS Forgetting; When I Was In Your Heart

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