CD It's a Shame About Gemma Ray [Digipak] (CD 6655231),
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It's a Shame About Gemma Ray [Digipak]

  • 1. Put The Bolt In The Door
    2. I'd Rather Be Your Enemy
    3. Ghost On The Highway
    4. SUD
    5. Touch Me I'm Sick
    6. Just Because
    7. Swampsnake
    8. Everyday
    9. Rosemary's Baby Vs. Drunken Butterfly
    10. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
    11. Big Spender
    12. Looking The World Over
    13. Only To Other People
    14. I'd Rather Go Blind
    15. I'm Gonna Lock My Heart
    16. I've Got A Crush On You
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): BR 22

  • Credits
    EngineerMatt Verta-Ray

    Personnel: Gemma Ray (vocals, guitar, Fender Rhodes piano, vibraphone); Matt Verta-Ray (drums, drum machine, percussion).
    Recording information: NY Hed, New York, NY (12/26/2009/01/01/2010).
    Photographers: Fabienne Delsol; Ali Smith; Joshua Bright.
    Recorded in three days, It's a Shame About Gemma Ray is a different sort of project for Ray, whose previous albums explored the balance between retro pop and neo-soul. Here, Ray's lush arrangements are replaced by a stripped-down sound that's almost spooky in its intimacy, with little more than slide guitar and kickdrum forming the bedrock of each song. As for the songs themselves, they're all covers, and Ray twists each one to suit her alto voice and one-person backing band. Working with percussionist Matt Verta-Ray, she turns Buddy Holly's "Everyday" into a minor-key ballad, Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick" into a femme fatale seduction, and Alex Harvey's "Swampsnake" into urban blues, with slapback echo and guitar tremolo accounting for most of the album's hands-off production. The rest of the track list is similarly eclectic, running the gamut from an Etta James standard to a song by the contemporary Sub Pop artist Obits. Cover albums like this aren't meant to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with an artist's original work, but It's a Shame About Gemma Ray more than holds it down, partially because it allows Ray to shine as a lead guitarist and partially because it's so cohesive, shot through with the same cinematic noir touches used by film directors like Quentin Tarantino. ~ Andrew Leahey

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