Where do i begin.This has left me speechless.This is amazing,beautiful and overall breathetaking.With a sound somewhere between Radiohead and Ryan Adams.Johnathan Rice would not sound out of place in the mainstream but still has a very 'underground' feel to his music.
Rice,21 was recently turned down by Saddle Creek records.Which if you don't know is home of Bright Eyes but whlist Conor Orberst is riding a wave of hype thanks to his 'I'm wide awake,it's mourning' and 'Digital ash in a digital urn' albums.Rice has created a album which knocks all the contenders out of the water.
With an acoustic guitar,an unmistakable voice and a mix of beats and orchestras,Rice creates a beautiful set of songs.Album opener 'Short song for strings' is a fantasic slow burning introduction which blends nicely into 'Mid November' and Rice sings the lines ''I walked through walls to be with you.In the early nighttime morning came so soon'' and the rest falls into place perfectley.Track 4 'Break so easy' is a great Jack Johnson style strum with Rice singing his lyrics in a heartbreaking whisper with the odd piano twinkle in the background.
As i said earlier.Their's a bit of Radiohead in 'Trouble is free'.Mainly 'City on fire' which wouldn't sound out of place on 'Kid A' or 'Ok computer'.Oh yeah,any Ryan Adams fans will always see a resembalence to Mr Adams on the excellant 'Put me in your holy war'.The most 'Rock' moment on here is the political 'Salavation day' think Pearl Jam on a serious sugar rush and has some good lyrics too ''Another year another war,Something else worth dying for,So spill your blood for the land you love''.This is then blended into the slightly cartoony 'Stay at home' which works very well (but really should'nt).
Final track 'I wouldn't miss it for the world' is the perfect finsh to a pretty much perfect album.A short (2 minutes) acoustic strum with great lyrics.That murderer who shares your cell,Well his sentence don't have to be yours as well,Cause when you sleep you count the stars ,He's making enemies across the bars''.Pretty good if you ask me.
In my opinon this beats both of the two previous Bright Eyes records by a mile.Saddle Creek were fools to turn his down.They may want to re-think their decision now.
(***Listen To 'Trouble Is Real' Online Now At Johnathanrice.Com***)
+Put together beautifully
+Lots of brillant moments
-That last track could have been a bit longer
-Erm,thats about it
Short Songs For Strings
Kiss Me Goodbye
Break So Easy
My Mother's Son
City On Fire
Put Me In Your Holy War
Stay At Home
I Wouldn't Miss It For The World
Thanks For Reading.