David Gray: Say Hello Wave Goodbye
[purchase studio version]
It’s not hard to figure out from the title what this one is about. Say Hello Wave Goodbye is a breakup song, with David Gray’s narrator trying to reach a state of resignation, but succumbing to heartbreak instead. The song runs over eight minutes in this live version, as it did in the studio version as well. Gray sets down a pattern on guitar at the beginning, and he is joined by drums and bass, but the musical pattern does not change much in the whole song. Mostly, the musical drama comes from dynamic shifts, getting louder and softer. That wouldn’t be enough to hold the listener’s interest for a song this long, but Gray’s vocal is the song’s secret weapon. His cracking voice threatens to break and fall apart, but it never quite happens. Gray is fully emotionally committed in this song, but he never oversings either, making the whole thing emotionally powerful and completely believable.