The starkest difference between the two albums is the instrumentation. While Trouble occasionally stumbles across an electric guitar or some strings, Till the Sun subsists on them, along with horns, resulting in a fuller sound. This is most noticeable on the album’s best track, “You Can Bring Me Flowers,” which easily calls to mind the handiwork of LaMontagne’s contemporary Sam Beam, the man behind Iron & Wine. “Three More Days,” with an electric Wurlitzer performance by fusion guru John Medeski and soaring brass lines, subtly invokes The Band.
To his credit, LaMontagne made an earnest decision to not repeat himself — neither in themes (nothing too somber) nor in sound. Till the Sun Turns Black is a portrait of a traditionalist who isn’t afraid to experiment a little. The new disc is more accessible than Trouble. That said, Trouble nicely balances its sparse, dry sound and engaging, haunting lyrics. It’s an acquired taste but worth the work.