Album Review | ROCK

Ray LaMontagne, ‘Supernova’

In making his first studio album in almost four years, Ray LaMontagne changed the way he wrote songs, brought in a new producer (the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach), and worked with a new cast of players. What resulted has an entirely different character than LaMontagne’s previous work manifests. He’s been far from sonically static from album to album, but “Supernova” qualifies as shape-shifting in comparison. He’s also traded out his oftentimes intense lyrical melancholy for a more diverse and at times even cheerful countenance. The spacey psychedelia of lead-off track “Lavender” heralds the change and, with a couple of exceptions, the new vibe is only amplified by what follows: Witness the full-blown psych-rock of “She’s the One,” the soaring, lush, and layered pop of the title track, or the druggy, Floydian dynamics of “Smashing.” (Out Tuesday)

Stuart Munro

ESSENTIAL “Smashing”

Ray LaMontagne plays at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on May 30 and 31.

Stuart Munro can be reached at