Gregory Douglass, Lucid | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Gregory Douglass, Lucid 

Album Review

Gregory Douglass, Lucid
  • Gregory Douglass, Lucid

(Emote Records, CD, digital download)

Seems like ages since we’ve heard from Gregory Douglass. The local pop prince’s last record, the brooding and sometimes confrontational Battler, was released more than two years ago, which is something of a dry spell for this prolific songwriter. Though he’s been busy playing weekly online concerts and revisiting the 1980s as a member of local cover band Side Pony, he’s such a phenomenal studio artist that it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow when he hasn’t released a new record in a while. Douglass’ fans will be delighted to learn that his eighth studio album is finally here. And Lucid was more than worth the wait.

Eerie, music-box-like chimes introduce the disc’s opening cut, “The Night.” Douglass matches this somber aesthetic by luring the listener in with a slow-burning melody that feels both soothing and dangerous. He is a fantastically talented singer, but here displays more than just otherworldly pipes. Elite performers are often tempted to rely on ornamental glitz — it’s a forgivable transgression that Douglass has occasionally been guilty of in the past. But throughout Lucid, his performance is refined; he communicates more with nuance and guile than with show-stopping vocal acrobatics. The results are often exquisite.

The title track begins as a piano-driven romp, then quickly changes course and veers into atmospheric electro-pop. Crystalline production has long been a hallmark of Douglass’ recorded work. Lucid is no exception, particularly on this song. A phalanx of ethereal noises dart around the speakers, highlighting Douglass’ intense vocal melody.

Even more than on previous records, he covers a variety of stylistic terrain on this one. From easy, mid-tempo rock on album standout “White Out” to new-wave electro-pop on “Naysayer” and sinister ruminations on “Raven,” the singer displays impressive versatility and artful curiosity.

Still, regardless of various sonic disguises, Lucid is still very much a Gregory Douglass record. Meaning that fans will find typically well-crafted pop suites, thought-provoking lyrical turns and adventuresome arrangements. That last characteristic is particularly true on the songs featuring cellist Monique Citro, whose work on “One True Thing” is alone almost worth the price of admission.

Gregory Douglass celebrates the release of Lucid with a show this Saturday, June 11, at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge. Justin Levinson opens.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Bio:
Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation