Driving home late on a Sunday evening, Ray LaMontagne’s album Trouble is keeping me company. The song Burn comes on and I find myself unable to let it blend into the sounds of the road and the engine and the world passing by at 73 mph.
Ain't it clear when I'm near you
I'm just dying to hear you
Calling my name one more time
Oh so don't pay no mind
To my watering eyes
Must be something in the air
That I'm breathing
Yes'n I try to ignore
All this blood on the floor
It's just this heart on my sleeve that's a bleeding
A conversation that I had with a friend a few days earlier comes to mind. She said it was part of the curse of my compassion that I wear my heart on my sleeve and it sometimes gets trampled on. I love Ray LaMontagne’s voice, it is like melted chocolate or edible velvet. I have no idea where those comparisons come from, but his voice just feels like something you can taste.
There is so much passion and emotion in each song. I love it when you can hear soul of the artist in the songs they write and perform. LaMontagne has said “I always, always end up recording the songs that I feel are important for me to work through.” To me that sounds more like the philosophy of a writer than that of a performer. This is a philosophy I appreciate much more than the artist who writes a catchy hook and meaningless lyrics and performs a song to death for pure commercial exploit. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the performers and catchy hooks, but there just seems to be so much more substance to something that speaks to the soul.