DAVID GRAY A New Day At Midnight (BMG) Rating: NN Rating: NN
When his last disc came out, Brit techno-folkie David Gray had to beat off the buzz with a stick. Tunes like the lovely Babylon got him pegged as the male Beth Orton -- a great songwriter with acoustic basics, shimmering melodies and shimmying beats. But if you scratched the surface there was always a hint of sheepish, shrugging, vapid California pop marring Gray's goods, and A New Day At Midnight establishes him as the 2002 take on James Taylor. It's jam-packed with an indistinguishable sea of sluggish, watered-down folk-rock characterized by bland melodies, flat, tinny beats, half-assed lyrics and whiny strings. Very unremarkable.