808s / The UK's Greatest Hits

The UK’s Greatest Hits: 26. White Ladder – David Gray

david-gray-white-ladder-frontWhite Ladder – David Gray – 1998

First listen?: Yes (I think so anyway)

Another album that took a while to find an audience in the UK, it took 2 years for biggest hit Babylon to take off and the album went on to sell huge numbers upon re-issue. Stick any daytime radio station on and you’ll hear at least one of the singles from White Ladder, it’s that perfect type of acoustic pop that the British public seems to clamour for. I went into my first listen of White Ladder with relatively high hopes, my Dad is a big fan and has played his greatest hits quite a lot in our house over the years. I was left feeling nothing. Empty. I had no feelings one way or the other. I do like David Gray’s voice, but I was nearly as bored as I was through the Dido album. The songs seem to blend into one mix of the odd familiar hook here, the odd nice instrumental there. It’s background music, nice to stick on while you do the housework, but something you’d switch off as soon as you sat down with a cuppa. I suppose that’s what the UK goes for though, the comparisons with Dido’s Life For Rent are obvious throughout. The problem here though isn’t David Gray; he has a really nice tone to his voice and sings from an emotional, real place. The songs just blend together behind the wall of ‘nice singing’. At least with the Dido album she gave me some sort of feeling, I grew to dislike her even more over the course of 40 minutes. On White Ladder, I couldn’t tell you any of the emotions or feelings I had. It’s plain, bland and kind of boring.

Rating: 5/10

Will I listen again?: No

Best Track: Babylon

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