9 Explicit Lyrics
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9 is the extraordinary follow-up to young Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice's critically acclaimed 2003 debut album which sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, including more than 1 million in the U.K. Touring this country and making a masterful television premiere on the Late Show with David Letterman, Rice entered the U.S. music consciousness. Considering the overwhelming response to these new songs, which Rice performed on tour this summer, 9 is set to take him even higher. Wrote Rolling Stone of 9: ''Songs that, for all their quietness, leave a dark, lasting impression.'' Newsweek: ''An out-and-out gorgeous CD, so full of undiluted, unfalsified emotions that it verges on open-heart surgery.'' The New Yorker: ''An album of understated gems.''
Not quite as endearing as his raw and seductive 2002 debut, O, the second full-length album by Irish troubadour Damien Rice finds him taking a more slapdash approach to his lyrics and arrangements, with balmy tracks like "Rootless Tree," "Coconut Skins," and "Me, My Yoke, and I" seemingly made up and recorded on the spot. Strange then that it took so long for 9 to actually arrive, with just a handful of odd collaborations (Tori Amos, Herbie Hancock) and one promising benefit single ("Unplayed Piano") to hold fans over during the four-year delay. Nothing here quite achieves the lush poetry on display there, although Rice and his singing companion Lisa Hannigan come close with the creepy opening track "9 Crimes" and the damaged whisper-to-a-scream ballad, "Elephant." --Aidin Vaziri
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Top Customer Reviews
Melancholy is smeared liberally over this follow-up to Rice's spectacularly successful album "O".
You would think that we would have had our fill of down-in-the-dumps singer-songwriters making semi-orchestral productions out of songs which would once have been strummed in the back rooms of pubs, but Rice has done pretty much what David Gray did with "Life In Slow Motion" - he has produced a work of such sincerity and quality that it transcends its genre.
Best moment here is "Elephant", which begins with quiet voice and almost inaudible guitar, building in intensity to heartfelt keening and a rush of orchestra and percussion before dying back to a mumbling conclusion.
Emotionally, it is as if Rice has climbed a mountain and fallen down the other side.
And beyond, probably.
While far less radio-friendly than its predecessor, "9 saunters" with natural grace through ten tracks that ooze characteristic finesse and charm, with added lashings of maturity and jaded sexuality.
It has no "Cannonball" or "Volcano" but it doesn't need one in order to justify itself - without being "catchy", every beat of this album and every careful word sticks in your mind with effortless self-assurance.
It's immediately apparent from the greatly enhanced production values of "9" that the breakout Irish singer/songwriter isn't content with being known as a cult phenom.
He's angling for the big time, and "9"'s string-enhanced romantic melodrama, deftly employing some Dido-esque vocal accompaniment, could be what gets him there.
Equal parts James Blunt and Colin Farrell, Damien plays his sensitive rake game to the hilt here, plaintively crooning about affairs of the heart with swoon-inducing intimacy, but his reluctance to veer from the quiet-loud-quiet structure he favours gives each song a predictable trajectory and ultimately undermines all his attempts to create tension. Still, it's good enough to impress fans of David Gray and Coldplay.
Dashing the low expectations of cynics, Damien Rice's "9" is heart-flipping, gut-gushing, soul-snatching pop at its very best.
'9' is less angsty and experimental than Rice's masterful debut, but just as jaw-dropping. Lisa Hannigan lends her spectacular, emotive vocal talents to many of '9''s masterpieces such as the first single, 'Nine Crimes', a song that gradually intensifies with each passing chorus. Three knockouts, 'Rootless Tree', 'Dogs' and 'Coconut Skins' are three of the most brilliant songs released last year. It bid farewell to the fall in sentiment and clarity.
Rice is almost like a Michael Moore figure of the singer-songwriter community. He blends politics and likeability with the brilliance of art and artifact, and his creativity, intensity, emotional power and raw experimentation know no bounds. '9' is an example of all the aforementioned qualities of this unique artist, who can extract every scream, every sorrow and every heartfelt cry from a single whisper.
Judging by both of Rice's full-length releases, he could probably never make an imperfect album.
Most recent customer reviews
I wish they did not have that extra waste of time in the last track. Love Damien Rice forever!Published 13 months ago by Guy with a Call Me hat
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