Photographer: Robin Lewis Grierson.
Those looking to score their Sunday afternoons with polished, midtempo ruminations of life and love could do much worse than this compilation of David Gray's best work. "Babylon" enjoyed much chart success in the States, and many American listeners will find Greatest Hits to be more of a primer to Gray's acoustic-fueled style than a collection of past hits. But for returning fans -- particularly those who already own Shine: The Best of the Early Years, released in 2007 -- Greatest Hits is a cohesive disc that paints the picture of a seasoned songwriter. Gray didn't start writing hit songs until four albums into his career; as a result, these tracks sound sophisticated and tasteful, quite possibly because they draw their maturity from years of touring, recording, and label-hopping. Also included are 14 pages of liner notes (written by Gray himself in track-by-track format) as well as two new numbers, "You're the World to Me" and "Destroyer," which bookend the CD with the sort of clean, crisp pop/rock that will always find a home on adult contemporary charts. David Gray's music doesn't quite electrify, but it rarely fails to please, making Greatest Hits a nice commercial companion to the fans-only appeal of Shine. [Greatest Hits was re-released on CD in 2015.] ~ Andrew Leahey