Review Summary: The only album that I will rate a 5 that has cheesy lyrics.
Generally I tend to stay away from cheesy, generic love songs. Not only songs, but also poems, papers, articles, conversations, assignments, lectures, books, movies, and anything else there could possibly be. I kinda hate them. They're painfully cheesy, and even though it may be true (You are my fire, my one desire), I the audience don't feel the same way about the person you're talking to. Yes love is a special thing, but if you're gonna talk about it, make it more creative and less painful.
No, Damien Rice did not exactly do that.
Damien Rice's debut album, O, contains tons of cheesy, generic lyrics. When I listen to them and pay attention to their meaning, I sometimes need to stick my head out the window for fresh air so I do not throw up. "We might kiss when we are alone...we might make out" from the first track, Delicate, or "I can't take my mind off of you...till I find someone new" from The Blowers Daughter. How about "There's still a little bit of your taste in my mouth" from Cannonball, or "I remember it well, the first time I saw your head 'round the door, 'cause mine stopped working" from I Remember. So why do I love this album so much?
Because it's so freaking beautiful.
O introduced me to the wonderful world of Alt & Indie, and found out why most users on the site love it. It's soothing, but not only that; it's a very good listen. I believe this was my first actual Indie album, and it couldn't have been a better choice. The beautiful acoustic guitar parts, Damien's great voice (singing those lyrics, however), Lisa Hannigan's plentiful (but with a great voice) guest vocals, and the strings all blend together to make absolutely beautiful music. Starting from the peaceful and simple "Delicate," with its quiet, sometimes audible sometimes not guitar line and Damien's voice (singing those lyrics, however), it leads into the chorus featuring the strings, violins and maybe a viola. It basically gives what the entire album gives: tragically mediocre lyrics mixed in with that voice, acoustic guitar and strings. The first song, though, is very simple, pretty happy, but no real emotion. Most of the songs on the album are happy, carelessly singing about love on a sunny early summer day, with guitar in hand, girlfriend by side, playing violin. It's a picture perfect day in the picture perfect place. What better picture could you ask for?
Now the lyrics don't sound so bad. By the time Damien sings "I can't take my eyes off of you" in The Blower's Daughter, you actually want to hear something lovey-dovey, no matter how cheesy it is. It feels right now; it's supposed to happen; I wanna hear it. It sounds, believe it or not, good. When Hannigan comes in with her beautiful voice, I die a little inside, but it's a good dying feeling, I guess. Cannonball follows that moment, and it's one of my favorites. Its guitar part, once it comes in, completely relaxes me, to a point where I may stop what I'm doing and just sit back and enjoy.
The best part, though, is the string section. My favorite song on the album, Amie, doesn't have those cheesy, painfully bad lyrics. Singing "Amie, come sit on my wall and read me a story of O/ Tell it like you still believe that at the end of the century, a change for you and me," he strays far from "I can't live without you" lyrics at the wrong moment. The violins and violas shine throughout, playing beautiful melodies to mix with the guitars, but in a way the strings take over. They do take over in the bridge, and to end it, they get a duet together, which destroyed any doubts I had about this song, if I had any.
This album, despite the lyrics is tremendous. It's amazingly relaxing, and perfect to chill to. Sometimes, as I stated, the lyrics fit, and they sound right. Some of the best moments are when you don't even understand what's being said, like in Cold Water, where some guys sing like a retard (seriously, dooooooo wuhh wooooooo wuppp eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh aiiighhhhh), and in Eskimo, where there's an opera singer singing in some weird language (Kosketa minua, Älä käsilläsi, Vaan niin että tunnen sinut). Both are very interesting and actually something to look forward to. This album is amazing.
Best songs (in order):
And the rest too, by the way.