David Gray White Ladder

British singer/songwriter David Gray is experiencing his Edwyn Collins moment. After years of critical acclaim and commercial disappointment, Gray seems to have finally scored his breakthrough album, thanks in large part to the stateside success of single "Babylon." The difference from Collins' success with rump-shaker "A Girl Like You" is that Gray's crossover from cult fave to hip new thing comes as less of a surprise. The question really is what took so long? The addition of drum machines and atmospheric keyboards add an innovative edge to Gray's warm folk compositions, but White Ladder isn't that great a departure from the previous three albums. The key difference, at least on the surface, is Gray seems considerably more focused and confident here. A solid collection of blue-eyed soul and folk-rock tracks, White Ladder thrives with Gray's effortless melodicism. (BMG)