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dans107
01-10-2004, 02:38 PM
"Damien Rice - O"
1. Delicate
2. Volcano
3. The Blowers Daughter
4. Cannonball
5. Older Chests
6. Amie
7. Cheers Darlin'
8. Cold Water
9. I Remember
10. Eskimo

Damien Rice is an Irish singer / songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. This is his first major solo work (by this I mean his first CD), however he has been playing all over Europe for years and years now.

Before I start, I have to tell you that this song has had so much acclaim from all over the world it's unbelievable.

It's been in nearly all "Top 10 Albums of 2003" lists in the UK and has sold literally hundreds of thousands in each the UK, Ireland and US. This isn't too mention the sales in the rest of the world.

1. Delicate

The opening track to this song is very reminiscent to a Summers afternoon, just laid back, relaxing, watching the World go by.

It begins with an acoustic guitar (no electric guitar is used throughout the album, except for a slight part in track 3 and 7), to be soon accompanied by Damien's voice and some soft drums.

When the "chorus" starts, a cello enters and the drums get slightly heavier / louder, until the end when everthing stops, Damien sings, and then everything starts again - minus the strings.

Throughout the song, it's very, not un-emotionless, but laid back. This soon changes when the second chorus has finished, and you can hear the emotion in Damiens voice. The song goes back to who started, just guitar, and then fades.

Excellent track, great opening song.

2. Volcano

As soon as this song starts, you can tell it's a very sad, mellow song. The guitar, drums and cello all begin together, and continue throughout the verse, with added vocals and minus the cello.

During the second verse, Lisa Hannigan takes over the vocals, and it's really hard not to like her voice. I think it's so good, fits the song perfectly. She continues to sing later on in the song, singing in unison with Damien - great effect.

This was the first song I ever heard by Damien Rice (thanks to Modrock). Great song.

3. The Blowers Daughter

At the moment, this is one of my favourite tracks on the album.

It's so, emotional. It's just Damien and a guitar to start with, with a cello coming in soon. He amazingly builds up both the tension of the song and the emotion of the song, just before the chorus.

I can't express how much I like this song, and the emotion in his voice. It is truely amazing. You just know he's singing about someone special to him.

Towards the end of the song, Lisa Hannigan enters again, with an almost "angel" like voice. The contrast is great when Damien returns, as his voice is very sad and depressing.

4. Cannonball

This is another of my favourite songs on the album. It's such a nice song. Neither really happy or really sad at the start, but soon turns happy when the chorus begins.

The song is quite repetitive (not a bad thing, REALLY). It changes after the second chorus or so, to then lead back into the introduction.

It's really hard to explain how the songs are, especially the lyrics, because he uses emotion so well, it's hard to distinguish what he actually means. What this song means to him, could mean something totally different to you.

5. Older Chests

If I had to pick a song I disliked most on the album, it would probably be this one. It's not that it's a bad song in the least, I just prefer the other songs.

It's a good song, very slow, mellow and easy to listen to. Again, Lisa Hannigan joins in on the singing towards the end.

6. Amie

This song is one of my favourites also, especially when it gets to the chorus. It's quite touching when listening to the lyrics. It sounds as if it's about when he was a child, and "Amie" would sit and talk to him outside about the world, and how great it is, even though she doesn't believe it because she's older and knows how it really is. However, she doesn't want to spoil it for Damien.

This is a really good song, you can hear the emotions in his voice.

Throughout the song, it's just Damien singing and playing guitar, and a cello. It's amazing how he can use these three instruments to make a song feel so full, yet so empty when need be.

7. Cheers Darlin'

This song starts quite different to the others, with a clarinet introduction, which could be linked to some 1920's music. I like it though (however, I've always liked the sound of the clarinet).

I think this song is about finding out your girlfriend or boyfriend has cheated on you, and for the most part of is song, Damien sings it in an almost "drunken" like state. Great effect, as if he's been drowning his sorrows.

The song is mainly guitar and vocals, up until the end when everything joins in and there's a big 'climax' to the song.

It ends with some electric guitar and piano to finish with.

8. Cold Water

This is a very slow and depressing song, with mixed vocals from both Damien and Lisa.

Halfway through the song, some male vocals join in, which I think are tenors, or maybe the next pitch up.

It ends with some cello, almost finishing, but the male vocals join back in at the end to give a very distinctive ending.

9. I Remember

This is quite a happy song, with Damien playing guitar and Lisa Hannigan once again singing.

It's very reminiscent of a traditional Irish folk song, about the past. Good song to listen to.

When the song "apparently" ends, there is a small gap, then the first of the "hidden" songs on the album starts.

It's only short, but very, very emotional with a definate minor feel to it. It starts with Damien just singing and playing guitar to start with, drums and cello join in about quarter of the way through.

This is one of my favourite parts of the album, great short song.

10. Eskimo

This is probably my joint favourite song at the moment on the album.

It starts solely guitar, with Damien soon joining in on vocals and cello joining in soon after.

The chorus to this song is very uplifting. It makes me smile everytime I hear it.

It's towards the end when this song begins to reach it's best. It becomes very loud in its vocals, happy and quite operatic - cue the female opera voice. Yes, a female opera singing joins in towards the end and no, it doesn't sound stupid or out of place, it fits in perfectly. Probably my favourite part of the whole album.

Once this song is apparently over, there's a large pause, but then the second of the hidden songs begins.

It's quite like the first, in being it starts of quite, but gets very loud and harsh. It's very emotional, deep and dark. It sounds as though it's going to get really loud, but then it just stops and Damien starts singing. It then does the same again, apart from it doesn't go quite and it does get loud and abrasive, quite like a Muse song or two. It ends with Damien singing quietly again - the contrast is amazing.

To finish the album off, there is another hidden song after the second one. It's Lisa Hannigan doing a cover of "Silent Night". It's an amazing version, very emotional and touching.


I apologise for this being so long, but it's an amazing album. I give it 5/5. This is the 4th time that i've listened to it fully today. It will be one of your best buys of the year if you decide to buy it, which I strongly recommend you do.

Dan

The Ashtray Girl
01-10-2004, 03:06 PM
I only got it a few days ago so I haven't had much chance to listen to it, but I definitely like what I've heard. Highlights at the moment are The Blower's Daughter and Cannonball, which is the song that made me buy it in the first place. I love the lyrics for Cannonball, I can relate so much to what he's saying.

dans107
01-10-2004, 03:12 PM
It's a great song isn't it. Both of them are. Good choice on the album.

Dan

moderaterock222
01-10-2004, 05:03 PM
great to see you got the album in the end:)

great review, seriously its probably the best review ive read so far, since i agree with all the comments

SubtleDagger
01-12-2004, 04:49 PM
Thank goodness someone reviewed this album. One of my favorite artists out right now. Good job. :thumb:

SxRxnRnR4Life
01-12-2004, 06:23 PM
I totally dig Damien Rice. Way to go. There is more to life than metal and punk.

Peace

dans107
01-13-2004, 07:54 AM
great to see you got the album in the end:)



Yeah, what you said before Christmas convinced me to get it. I can't believe I debated whether or not to actually get it.

I'm getting into a lot of music which I wouldn't have really listened to (or definately not have bought the album) 2 months ago. Damien Rice, Longview, Elbow (I thought these sucked when I saw them perform on TV. I then saw them live and they were great).

Yeah, so thanks, I owe it to you for getting me into this :thumb:.

Dan

moderaterock222
01-13-2004, 10:32 AM
yeah...you might want to check tom mcrae too, people having been sadying damien is very similar to him..and tom mcrae is one of my favourite solo artists

dans107
01-13-2004, 12:55 PM
Ah well, thanks.

*Goes to HMV tomorrow during dinner*

Dan

br3ad_man
06-22-2004, 04:16 AM
I'm going to get this soon. I can't wait, I'm trembling with excitement as I type this.

MalcolmYoungRock
06-22-2004, 03:19 PM
I got this cd for christmas last year and when i listened to it, it blew my mind away. Damien Rice blends emotion and guitarwork so well, it just turns into mellow rock but its so beautiful...and he is an excellent guitar player

alibalibee
07-07-2004, 02:17 PM
pah , im new, so im unsure how to quote, but i was very glad to finally stumble on this review. damien rice is definetly one of the most talented singer-songwriters in the british scene right now, and i noticed dans107 mentioning two great bands- longview and elbow. i am so glad there are some people here with great taste, altho its not my part to judge what others like, i thought these forums were full of people bigging up new american bands and reviewing the great albums of our time. which is all very good, i love to read them , but...im dragging on a bit now, my main point was to express my relief at having read your review. nice job.

moderaterock222
07-07-2004, 03:43 PM
^Hey you sound like a very cool person. Get over to the alt and indie forums and you'll be welcomed:)

RollerQueen
07-07-2004, 08:22 PM
Yes, we need some new blood that's not tainted...

As for the cd, I picked it up last week or so after hearing "I Remember" and seeing the movie The Notebook. The next day, I was driving around, listening to the rest of the tracks and grooving on it. Good good music. Not a 5/5, but worth a purchase if you don't mind mellow acoustics.

OrbDragon
07-08-2004, 12:56 AM
Awesome album. "I Remember" is actually one whole song...and it's incredible.

pixiesfanyo
07-08-2004, 10:39 AM
My favorite song b Damien Rice is "The Professor"

Theo
07-08-2004, 05:09 PM
This album is a definite 5/5. It is the only all-acoustic album I enjoy listening to along with Nirvana's "Unplugged in New York". Damien Rice is one of the few artists that bring something of real quality to the modern music scene, along with Norah Jones.

OH yeah, "Cheers Darlin' is by far the best track on there. Damien was drunk when he recorded it. Apparently some chick he tried to pick up in a bar inspired it, and he got home very late at night, recorded the song in one take and called his producer. Awesome.

TheBlueRaja
07-10-2004, 11:14 AM
Does anyone else find the sound quality on this CD to be - well, a bit poor - i can hear quite a few crackles and pips in the sound and its quite off putting.

I though it was my Hi-fi until i broke out Norah Jones, just after it to check and that sounds absolutely fine.

Still wouldnt mind knowing if anyone else hears this too?

Theo
07-10-2004, 01:39 PM
Does anyone else find the sound quality on this CD to be - well, a bit poor - i can hear quite a few crackles and pips in the sound and its quite off putting.

I though it was my Hi-fi until i broke out Norah Jones, just after it to check and that sounds absolutely fine.

Still wouldnt mind knowing if anyone else hears this too?

Nope, quality is cool. Check your copy, replace it with a new one.

moderaterock222
07-10-2004, 05:26 PM
Does anyone else find the sound quality on this CD to be - well, a bit poor - i can hear quite a few crackles and pips in the sound and its quite off putting.

I though it was my Hi-fi until i broke out Norah Jones, just after it to check and that sounds absolutely fine.

Still wouldnt mind knowing if anyone else hears this too?
I know what you mean, a lot of it was recorded on a home 16 odd track. I really like it though, it makes it sound more...er...genuine.

Deathapalooza04
10-25-2004, 10:18 PM
OH yeah, "Cheers Darlin' is by far the best track on there. Damien was drunk when he recorded it. Apparently some chick he tried to pick up in a bar inspired it, and he got home very late at night, recorded the song in one take and called his producer. Awesome.

I agree that "Cheers Darlin" is the best track. I love it even though Damien sounds like he wants to shoot himself the entire way through it.

Tapeworm
10-26-2004, 12:18 AM
Hah, that's awesome. When he played it live, he came out for the encore with a glass of wine in hand and acted (or was) really drunk. God it was awesome.

radianteclipse
11-05-2004, 11:23 AM
I love this album. The funny thing is I have had it for about 6 months now, because I burned it off of a friend, but I never listened to it all. Then one day I just happened to stumble across it and popped it in to listen to the only track I knew from him.."Cannonball", but ended up listening to the entire album. I cried during "The Blower's Daughter"..wow..such a beautiful, touching song. It's absolutely amazing. Wow.

RollerQueen
11-05-2004, 12:52 PM
Walking around campus to my car these past few weeks, I realized how wonderfully seasonal this album is. Acoustics naturally give an autumnal feel to music and the lyrics are so ambivalent in their sorrow and ecstacy that they mirror the chaos of the season to enhance the work as a whole. Irish pride. I wonder when he's coming out with a new cd (not that B-sides thing)...

Happymeal
11-06-2004, 10:11 AM
Vote for this album in Alt/Indie!!

Welcometothezoo
11-07-2004, 10:32 AM
nah i found this album, on 3 listens, really quite boring. This isn't a slight on the male solo, acoustic artist, in fact i'm quite a fan of the category (Ryan Adams, Nick Drake, Adem), I just thought his approach to this album was a bit for wanting of great acclaim, i felt he really tried to make a piece of musical gold, and as a result, to me, it became dragging, the songs over stayed their welcome and the album i felt became stale and immensely predictable. I reckon there will be some good things to come from him for my tastes, so i don't want to slate him. I just feel 'O' is not in the league of some of the works by his, if you like, rivals-in-genre, such as Ryan Adams' 'Love Is Hell' or 'Heartbreaker'.
Cheers, good review, Dan

dans107
11-08-2004, 02:32 AM
You, my friend, should spend more time here.

Saying you don't like the album, but going on to say he has some good work in him / it was a good review = :thumb:

Iai
11-08-2004, 02:38 AM
nah i found this album, on 3 listens, really quite boring. This isn't a slight on the male solo, acoustic artist, in fact i'm quite a fan of the category (Ryan Adams, Nick Drake, Adem), I just thought his approach to this album was a bit for wanting of great acclaim, i felt he really tried to make a piece of musical gold, and as a result, to me, it became dragging, the songs over stayed their welcome and the album i felt became stale and immensely predictable. I reckon there will be some good things to come from him for my tastes, so i don't want to slate him. I just feel 'O' is not in the league of some of the works by his, if you like, rivals-in-genre, such as Ryan Adams' 'Love Is Hell' or 'Heartbreaker'.
Cheers, good review, Dan
To be fair, that's a criticism you can lay at the door of almost every debut album. People have a tendency to make debut records with the intention of having them loved instantly - yet that approach means that the albums have no longevity. See Radiohead's 'Pablo Honey' for a crystal example.

He should mature and come up with a real masterpiece on the 2nd or 3rd attempt.

Tapeworm
11-08-2004, 06:57 AM
Exactly, I still love this album though.

Oh yeah, Ryan Adams is the man. Nice.

Welcometothezoo
11-08-2004, 02:48 PM
To be fair, that's a criticism you can lay at the door of almost every debut album. People have a tendency to make debut records with the intention of having them loved instantly - yet that approach means that the albums have no longevity. See Radiohead's 'Pablo Honey' for a crystal example.

He should mature and come up with a real masterpiece on the 2nd or 3rd attempt.

Yeh i completely agree, it's when an artist is able to find the perfect balance for an album that, along with talented songwriting (of which Damien Rice is clearly capable of), a masterpiece is born. I think the budding young prospects such as himself and Ryan Adams, at the moment, aren't achieving the 'perfect' balance in their albums. I've often thought Adams makes his albums too long, a problem that in the end almost spoils some of his brilliant work. Perfect example - 'Gold'. Here, dragged-out songs such as 'Tina Toledo's Street walking blues' that really end-up jeapordising great tracks like 'SYLVIA PLATH'. Cheers