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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Allison Gray: Off My Mind




We live in an unprecedented era of music and musicians. Currently, it is not so common that an artist can enjoy a modest amount of commercial success, and still have such a genuine air of approachability. And yet, this could certainly be said of one of the best singer/songwriters we have come across lately. Allison Gray has enjoyed both the independent dream success of being widely viewed on her YouTube channel as well as having music featured in major television network programing (such as NBC, MTV and Lifetime). Her songs are consistently sweet and heartbreaking, masterfully arranged with a voice that cuts like a diamond stiletto heel.

The EP being discussed here is titled: “Off My Mind,” available on Amazon and ITunes respectively. The album features a total of six beautifully created songs that are melancholy, but at the same time have a surprisingly energetic quality to them. Perhaps it’s the versatile guitar in the background, or the addition of horns that punctuate lines throughout “Off My Mind,” that lifts me every time I hear it. The arrangements of the accompaniment tracks are certainly first rate. Of course, we would be remised if we did not mention the lyric quality of Ms. Gray’s alto singing and surprisingly original lyrics on universal themes; which are probably the first things a listener will notice.


All of the songs are worth having; every track features the same qualities that make Allison Gray such an enjoyable artist. The two real gems of the album, however; are the songs “Best Love” and “Break Me.”  Both are medium tempo works built on absolutely timeless harmonies, and melodies that stay with you for a long time after you have turned off the radio. The lyrics for both songs deal with heartbreak and fragility in a confessional way without ever being whiney (a very difficult task to pull off).  The horns (on "Best Love") give just enough of an edge to make everything fresh, all the while providing a very classic vibe. Lastly, the production value makes the tracks sound good on the computer, with a set of headphones, or in the car.

It isn’t hard to imagine a considerable following really supporting Ms. Gray, this kind of music really depends on smaller-but-extremely-devoted crowds. At the same time though, the cinematic quality of the music makes it perfectly suited to television and film, so it will be interesting to see how that develops further. As for now, Allison Gray has one genuine masterpiece of an EP under her belt and so long as she keep up the first rate material, it is predictable that we will keep hearing of her success in the future. 

To find out more about Allison Gray, please visit her website at: http://www.theallisongray.com