The best way to describe this album is fearless. He takes the road less traveled by other up-and-coming singer-songwriters. While the new batch has had some very good singers, nothing compares to this album. They seem more interested in making a "clean" album, while this album seems like he is alone in a room baring his soul.
Though the strange thing is about the album s that you know he could not have been alone in a room. There is so much going on, so many chances taken that it is hard to descibe. Simply saying that it is an acoustic album is wrong. The album brings in much more.
Fearless in his atempts to expand beyond just him and his guitar. Consider how at the end of Amie, out of nowhere comes what sounds like an entire orchestra. It sounds beautiful and it becomes almost impossible to imagine the song without it. Then the gorgarian (sp?) chants that enter into Cold Water. By the end of the album it seems only appropriate to have an opera singer at the end of Eskimo.
But the wonderful things about the album is that it doesn't rely on these tricks. They are simply used to enchance the songs. Cannonball is simply him and his guitar, and it is one of the best songs on the album (a song friends of mine have confessed crying to when they heard it).
Another huge difference between him and others is the feeling involved. I have yet to hear another singer coming out now who you can feel their pain so clearly and identify with it(Howie Day is close). The only line in the chorus of The Blower's Daughter is "I can't take my eyes off you..." The way he sings it and the passion in his voice make the line more romantic and meaningful than an entire boy-band album.
Just the other night I went outside with my CD Player to sit on the front porch and listen to music while I smoked a cigarette. I started at track one, and became so engrossed in the songs, I just sat there until the album finished. It is THAT good. And it is that feeling that is put into every song that gives me the impression this album will age very well.
I agree with others that he brings back memories of when Jeff Buckley was around. They invoke the same spirit. And that is nothing but a compliment, because if there is anything music needs now, it is someone who can do to people what Jeff did. Even though Jeff died too soon, people are still listening to his music because it means so much to them. I have the feeling that this album will do the same. It is Damien Rice's "Grace".
My only concern is the same as others. How in the hell is he going to follow this up? But here is the fun part, imagine if he somehow makes a better album?
I strongly urge you to listen to anything by Jeff Buckley instead. Read more
This is without doubt the best cd I have heard in the past 5 years. Read more