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The Words "Singer" and "Songwriter" Are Not Always Mutually Exclusive, but in this Case, They Truly Mean Something Very Special. Damien Rice is Irish and a Contemporary of Another Acclaimed Singer Songwriter David Kitt. Rice Showcases his Very Special Talents for Creating Stories and Songs of Depth and Emotion with a Meticulousness that is Envied by Many He Has Passed on his Way to Fame. Just a Couple of Listens to this Album Will have You Admiring Him, in Awe of his Immense Talent. (Must Run in the Family...his Cousin is Renowned Composer David Arnold.)
Irish troubadour Damien Rice doesn't so much reinvent the folk genre on this lush, impossibly mature debut album as push its boundaries in several compelling musical directions at once--all the more remarkable considering the album was largely self-produced and home-recorded. His songs revolve around familiar, bittersweet concerns of life, love and their attendant frustrations, but delivered with conspiratorial intimacy on melodic wings that (like on the graceful "Cannonball") Rice seems almost embarrassed to share. If there's anything like a template here, it's "The Blower's Daughter," the song that first attracted the interest/stewardship of film composer David Arnold (whose guest production provides "Amie" with expansive cinematic elegance) and became a massive Irish hit. His plaintive vocal, embroidered by the mournful solo cello of Vyvienne Long, is suddenly brightened by an instrumental flourish and Lisa Hannigan's vocals--before just as quickly wafting on the breeze. With touches that range from "Day in the Life"-styled string collages to the dizzy, exhilarating neo-operatic excesses of the 16-minute "Eskimo," Rice's musical palate here is as adventurous as his songs are grounded in emotional intimacy. --Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
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...Read more ›
Some of reviewers noted his or her dislike to this cd b/c of most of songs sounding too melancholic. But this is the reason this album is so famous, the album explores and expresses this certain human emotions in such a poetic ways. Also lisa hannigan helping Damien Rice on the vocal helps bring such expressions as well as Vyvienne Long on cello.
I recommend this album to whoever wants to explore alternative music scene and keep in mind this is NOT a cheery album. It's kind of music helps you to be sad when you want to be. And for people who didn't enjoy melancholy side of this album, try his other songs suck as "I'm so childish" or "Grooving", which is somewhat lighter compared to this album. For people who've enjoyed this album be sure to check out his live shows, which are just hypnotic.
I have been somewhat disillusioned with new music for quite some time now. It seems that every time I buy a CD, it has been recorded by someone who has been established for ten years or so. Even then, my old faithfuls (you know who you are, Jewel) fail me. You can imagine the elation I felt when I heard Damien Rice's CD for the first time. After seeing him perform on the Late Show with David Letterman, I knew that I had to make this purchase.
Rice has a downright gorgeous voice--clear and sweet, somewhat reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright. The instrumentation of the CD blends perfectly with his vocals, his voice soaring and falling gently over the acoustic guitar, strings, and gentle drums. Some of the songs are accompanied by the harmonies Lisa Hannigan, a very talented vocalist in her own right, who brings to mind Dolores O'Riordan with more sweetness in her voice. The theme of sadness runs rampant on the CD, with lyrics such as "What I am to you/is not real" (from "Volcano," essentially a duet with Hannigan) and "Stones taught me to fly/Love taught me to lie/Life taught me to die" (from "Cannonball," which gains your attention by ending up being a quite uplifting song). His voice conveys this sadness and quiet angst (a much different variety than that of, say, Kurt Cobain) beautifully. Even the gorgeous composition "The Blower's Daughter" ends up being a bittersweet love song. Another standout is "Amie," with its breathtaking instrumental of strings which, at the end, when allowed to stand by themselves, sound like they could be from an opera or, at the least, a great movie score. This background is a perfect complement to the lovely melody.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
great music, lyric and cd just learn about this Damien Rice and it is a great investment .... will buy again his musicPublished on Sept. 16 2013 by cosim
This is an album worth to keep if you like Damien Rice. If you don't, try listening.Published on Oct. 18 2010 by allyho
Only someone so hard-hearted and cold could not be moved by the haunting melodies and heatbreaking lyrics on 'O', an album which to me, represents the bare bones of romance and... Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2005 by momo_adachi
I can honestly say this is one of the best albums I've ever heard. Never have I encountered a CD before where five of the songs on it (in this case, "I Remember,"... Read morePublished on April 23 2005
It is scary how good this album is...listen to it loud, and without distractions. Having seen him live I can only say that Damien Rice is a genius. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2004 by alfie
This is one of the best CDs I've purchased in ages. Rice writes songs that are simple, convincing, addictive, memorable. A gem from beginning to end.Published on Sept. 24 2004
Damien Rice is such a talented musician. His music never gets old, you can listen to it over and over again. His soultry voice is always nice to listen to. I highly recommend it!!Published on July 16 2004
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