Part Two – In My Own Way

Ray LaMontagne – Part Two – In My Own Way – YouTube

Ray LaMontagne – Part Two – In My Own Way – Spotify


I’ve got no time for Ray LaMontagne, late to the party with his dirgey music appealing to softies who weren’t there the first time around…

And then his last album was such a detour, he alienated those wimps who adored him.

And now comes this.

A cross between Pink Floyd and the Moody Blues, reminiscent of nothing so much as an acid trip, your mind will be blown when you listen to LaMontagne’s new album, it seems completely disconnected from what’s going on today, where you write a hit, peppered with more hooks than a ten year old can fathom, and then spread the word like Kanye such that no one can avoid it.

I didn’t even know LaMontagne had a new record. But my buddy Thomas Meyer of Sonos told me I had to check it out, which seemed kind of weird, since Meyer’s a notorious Phishhead, and nothing could be further from LaMontagne.

I pulled it up, to check it out, and to tell you the truth I thought I had the wrong record, this didn’t remind me whatsoever of LaMontagne’s previous work and it seemed something done by a denizen of the symphony as opposed to someone from Maine.

Maybe your experience was different from mine. Maybe you didn’t go to college in the middle of nowhere, with no television, no radio except for the college station, nothing to fill the blank spaces, you had to entertain yourself, you were disconnected from society, almost hermetically sealed. It set your mind adrift, I didn’t think I ever wanted to be that lonely ever again.

But listening to “Part Two -In My Own Way,” I’m reminded of who I once was, what I once did, it’s a window on a world I remember and now realize I don’t want to forget, it’s a part of me.

Let me reconstruct this. When I went to college music was not only the most important art form, it ruled the world, it glued us together, it was both the fuel and the penumbra, it was all-encompassing, bands had something to say, their chart success was secondary, we were always in search of excellence, an aural trip that took us to somewhere we could not foresee.

Musicians were our heroes, our leaders, we looked up to them, they made enough money, they didn’t have to do anything for the buck, we supported them.

And we found out about them on the radio, back before that became a bastardized medium beholden to advertisers that cared not a whit about the audience.

And then there was “Rolling Stone,” the rest of the music magazines, they were religious texts we combed like today’s born agains peruse the Bible, only every two weeks there was a new screed to be analyzed, music was not set in stone, it was EVOLVING!

But that’s not the case today, we haven’t had a revolution in eons, the twenty first century is all pop all the time…

And then comes this.

Lock the door
Draw the shades

Not only turn off your TV, but your smartphone, disconnect yourself. Maybe because you believe you’re not a winner and you just want to remove yourself from the hysteria, looking for your inner truth.

Close my eyes
I’m miles away
I’ll spend the day in my own way

I yearn to spend the day in my own way. Like I did back in college. When there were no anchors, no obligations, when life was about possibility, when no one was in my business, when there was no central square of social media filling me with empty calories as I was judged.

And when I listen to this Ray LaMontagne album, “Ouroboros,” I’m brought there.

Produced by Jim James, it seems to have been cut with absolutely no thought as to what’s happening, current society, commerciality…just like it was way back when.

To the point where you listen and are positively shocked, you can’t wait to tell someone about it, about someone outside the system, not playing the game, not bitching, but just doing what he wants.

I haven’t been this moved by such a dreamy sound since Air’s “Moon Safari.”

But this is different, it’s not electronic. And it doesn’t have the edge of Pink Floyd. And it’s rarely energetic like the Moody Blues…

How did this guy come up with this? What inspired him? How did he decide to let go of not only the precepts, but his audience? How did he decide to follow his muse into the wilderness, not caring if we cared?

This is the genuine article. This is truth. This is what you’ll be playing home alone, when you want company, when you want to set your mind free.

This is what you’ll be playing on the cross-country drive.

This is what you’ll be playing at the dinner party… And at some point someone will raise their head, interrupt the conversation and say…WHAT IS THIS?

I’m not exactly sure, but it feels so good.

Come join me in the aural bath.

Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. You’re human, not an automaton chasing the buck. Life is about feeling, about emotion, about setting your mind free.

“Ouroboros” does this.


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