Foundling

'Head spinning, mouth open,' sings tonsured Englishman David Gray on the tipsy 'Only the Wine,' the lead track of his handsomely tousled ninth LP. It's a promising start from a guy whose tastefulness too often trumps the spirit of experimentation that distinguishes him from his soft-rock peers. Better yet is the hypnotic title cut, all harmonium drone and splintered groove, and 'When I Was in Your Heart,' riding an unnerving, clipped acoustic-guitar loop and declaring 'the Saviour put a bullet/Right through his brains.' The rest are uniformly beautiful, with just enough ear-cocking moments and lyrical curveballs to make you wish, well, that there were more of them.

x