David Gray, "Foundling"

76 Billboard Rating

The sense of abandonment hinted in the title of David Gray's second album in less than a year, "Foundling," could be a reference to the work's minimalist nature. Unlike its 2009 predecessor, "Draw the Line," the new, stripped-down set features less instrumentation-often played by Gray instead of a backing band-and a monochromatic style among the tracks. Over simple piano chords on the slow-paced "Forgetting," the singer delivers his lyrics in one-word increments. And Gray delivers the set's best vocal performance on the charming "Gossamer Thread," where he sings over intricate acoustic instrumentation of a "Dog in the doorway/Doubting the world." But the standout track is the melodic "The Old Chair," a song that explores the feelings of growing old and being unwanted ("The old chair gets that they don't want it anymore"). The track also revisits the idea of abandonment when Gray sings, "If you're not there to meet me/That shadow gonna greet me."

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