iBlog: Damien Rice - 9


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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Damien Rice - 9

I think every now and again there are some trully beautiful musical artists like Jeff Buckley, Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Fellingham, Cathy Davey, Matt Bellamy to name a few but since first listening to 0 a few years ago, I've been hooked on Damien Rice's music above all.

The new album, 9, has been a long time in the making so it's a relief that it lives up to all expectations and can still hold it's own in the shaddow of his earlier album. In his new album Damien has taken a slightly more intense route with the music at times and it can be difficult to listen to at parts but he's wonderfully retained the delicate romantic expression of O, balancing the minimal with the emotional.

One of good things about 9 is that it can stand to be played with the volume up at songs like Rootless Tree or Me My Yoke and I (click to listen) to reveal the unpolished and perhaps more raw talent that's only vaguely hinted at in O. If O would be more what you'd play as ambience at a dinner party or with a cozy evening in with a significant other, I think 9 is more an album to throw on an iPod or while home alone. The music on 9 would lose its charm if it was listened to socially as it's not meant to be pleasant easy listening like O. Like I heard the other day, `9 is an album best listened properly first`.

When pushing shoves I think O is my prefered album but maybe for me it's inexplicably linked to memories of learning about La in her room a few years ago or our trip to Scotland, so to La and me O embodies musical sacrosanctity. However, right now it's been a long time since an album has come out that's so expressive and musicly untamed yet still making a spectacle of the beauty and simplicity of the artist. And in a time of artificial and commercial music this is a refreshing insight of genius that would be welcomed whether or not Damien Rice was as loved as he is.


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