Till the Sun Turns Black

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August 25, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ray LaMontagne is a suede-voiced singer with a dark streak; he’s like the brooding New England bro of Hawaii’s breezy Jack Johnson. Till the Sun Turns Black is a handsome follow-up to 2004’s Trouble, again produced by Ethan Johns, magnifies LaMontagne’s coffeehouse moroseness with horns and strings. But it also teases out his R&B side with cuts that conjure what Otis Redding might’ve done after his posthumous hit ”(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” At times, the tunes feel incorporeal, like incense smoke. Still, the scent lingers.

Till the Sun Turns Black

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Till the Sun Turns Black

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