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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.