James LaBrie – New Album – Beautiful Shade of Grey

James LaBrie, vocalist for progressive metal icons Dream Theater, sees his fourth solo album released today. ‘Beautiful Shade of Grey’ sees him traverse personal maturation, loss, a myriad of complex relationships, and most importantly – LaBrie’s burning passion for music.

The latest studio offering from the Canadian singer first took shape shortly after the global pandemic began to emerge. But in reality, LaBrie formed a bond with his fellow collaborator, bassist Paul Logue, nearly a decade earlier.

On the album, Logue plays acoustic rhythm guitar (both six & twelve string) and acoustic bass, while guitarist Marco Sfogli, who’s contributed on all of LaBrie’s solo albums since 2005’s ‘Elements of Persuasion’, handled the leads and solos. Logue recruited Eden’s Curse keyboardist Christian Pulkkinen to lend his playing on the record, while the suggestion to recruit James’s son Chance to play drums would also come from Paul. ‘Beautiful Shade of Grey’, as LaBrie describes it, was a title that only came to him once he identified the record’s two core themes throughout its track list.

“A lot of these lyrics are dealing with the beauty of human beings, and a lot are dealing with the grey areas of the in between. You’re not exactly happy, but you’re not exactly sad, either.”

Alongside the original songs on the album is a wonderful homage to Led Zeppelin with a spirited cover of the song “Ramble On”.

The album is excellent and well worth a listen.

%d bloggers like this: