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David Gray is a British-born singer/songwriter best known for his distinctive voice (which at least one reviewer has compared to whiskey in the sense of being deep and smokey) and folk-rock roots. His songs have been used in a variety of TV shows and movies, and quite a few are Tear Jerkers.
A brief discography:
- A Century Ends (April 1993)
- Flesh (September 1994)
- Sell, Sell, Sell (August 1996)
- White Ladder (November 1998)
- Lost Songs 95-98 (February 2001)
- A New Day at Midnight (October 2002)
- Life in Slow Motion (September 2005)
- Draw the Line (September 2009)
- Foundling (August 2010)
His music contains examples of:
- Adorkable: Especially when he was younger, but he still has a bit of this. This is especially evident whenever he tries to dance, since it comes out as adorable flailing, and at the beginning of this video where he tries to find the right guitar.
- Break Up Song: "Shine" though it's significantly more upbeat than many others.
- Concept Album: Life In Slow Motion is told from a different perspective in every song.
- Creator Breakdown: A New Day At Midnight was written after his father died, and "The Other Side" in particular is about him trying to deal with this.
- Despair Event Horizon: Several songs seem to be written from the other side of the Horizon, including "Kathleen" and "Ain't No Love", while others are about trying to keep from crossing over it, in particular "Holding On".
- Dissonant Serenity: The "killer's angel eyes" described in "Dead In The Water".
- Lyrical Dissonance: "The One I Love" sounds like a typical love ballad with a catchy beat until you hear the line about "the bullets whispering gentle 'mongst the new green leaves" at which point you realize that the song is about a guy dying and thinking of his lover.
- The Muse: The subject of "Stella The Artist"
- New Sound Album: A mild case, but Draw The Line had a new band backing him up and uses different instrumentation styles than some of his earlier work.
- One-Hit Wonder: Averted, though it looked for a while like "Babylon" was going to be his one big hit. Since then he has had several other successful singles, though "Babylon" is still his best known song.
- Perma Stubble: David often sports this look, though he was more clean shaven in his earlier years.
- Precision F-Strike: David doesn't swear often in his songs, but when he does it packs quite the punch. Probably the best example is from "Kathleen":
Just close your eyes it won't take long
Won't hurt a bit
Telling myself I could be strong
Some such brave bullshit
- Shrug of God: The meaning of the lyrics of "Alibi". Gray says it was a stream of consciousness experience writing it, so he doesn't really know what it means. Same with several other tracks that he more or less comes up with off the cuff, including "Foundling".
- Sophisticated As Hell: In interviews, for example:
"[Full Steam] is a song with quite dark sentiments. I see it as a broad political thing, I think of the line from T. S. Eliot, 'a patient etherised upon a table', that's the state we're in as a collective mass. We're just sedated, talking shit. But it would have sunk under it's own worthy weight with another male singer singing with me, when I was demoing it with my own voice it was like two bullocks braying in a field – too testosterone!" "
- Vocal Evolution: Especially noticable when comparing his older work to his newer work, and in particular his range has gotten much wider and his Welsh accent has become less pronounced.
- Wales: Where he spent part of his childhood, and today still has a slight accent.