Glen Hansard
Between Two Shores


4.0
excellent

Review

by neekafat USER (50 Reviews)
January 28th, 2018 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Happiness is no dull knife.

Glen Hansard has had a long life. And from what I can tell through his work in successful folk duo The Swell Season and the solo albums released since then, that life hasn’t been so easy. Despite his good musical fortune, time and again there seems to be plenty weighing down the weathered heart of Hansard.

That’s where his new album, Between Two Shores comes in.

Between the strong blues-rock influences and some straightforward folk tracks here and there, something new and foreign is shining through the cracks: happiness. This newfound emotion manages to worm it’s way through and through into nearly every track present here. The Chicago-like horns blare with a giddy excitement in “Roll on Slow,” and “Wheels on Fire” sounds almost alien on a Hansard album due to its upbeat tone and poppy melodies. Even the jazzy instrumentation of “Wreckless Heart” and “Movin’ On” blends surprisingly well with his folk roots, heightening rather than diminishing the hope present in each tune.

Perhaps that’s where the difference lies. Hope has always been present in Hansard’s music, as far back as I’ve listened. But previously it’s sounded like an uncertainty, a timid question mark far too fleeting to explore further out of fear of it backfiring and causing even more pain. Here, it’s the motivation for half the tracks. The lyrics here revolve around lost love and souring relationships just as always, but now contain more than a slight glimmer of hope. “Setting Forth” perhaps is the clearest example of this, meshing his soulful crooning with a more string-based tune that reminds us of her earlier work in The Swell Season, while retaining the optimistic atmosphere of the rest of this record.

However, this direction doesn’t always lead Hansard to musical bliss. There are many times when the horns come off as a bit much or a bit too artificially bright, such as on “Lucky Man,” and in the end Hansard never quite sounds as convincing when he’s happy as he does anguished. And oftentimes when he does try to return to his simple folk tunes of yore, he can’t add much new to the table, creating some pleasant but tired sounding tracks like “Woman Why” and “Your Heart’s Not in It.”

But in the end, can we really fault a man for sounding too happy" There’s no doubt that he’s earned his contentedness. And even if the music isn’t quite as sharp or moving as when he was down in the dumps, he’s still delivering interesting tunes with a constantly shifting perspective, and I daresay Hansard deserves these clear skies that seem to have come his way.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't find a place to mention it but "One of Us Will Lose" is an excellent song too, one of the best here

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


2630 Comments


this review is lovely

danielcardoso
January 28th 2018


11770 Comments


Nice review dude.

Dewinged
January 28th 2018


12889 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wreckless Heart is beautiful, the rest is ok. Great review Neek!

Digging: Miserable - Loverboy / Dog Days

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2018


2646 Comments


I'll admit I've not heard too much of his solo material, but Once is one of my favourite films ever. Was going to comment about not realising how old he was, but he's not even hit 50. Excited to check this. You know how I feel about the review.

Digging: Lil Zubin - Heavy Down Pour

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


oh hello there

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

AsleepInTheBack
January 28th 2018


5876 Comments


Great writing here neek.

neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the love guys, you know how much I appreciate it! (:

And Blush, be sure to check The Swell Season if you haven't already, as well as his first solo LP (so damn good)

Sorry to see you didn't like it Dan!

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


between POS shores

neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey, maybe we'll both get a featured review at the same time Papa (;

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


I would be honoured.

neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same here bud!

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


we can go ask in the meds thread, although last time i tried that I got banned for two days

neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmao I left a shout in Sowing's box last night so hopefully he'll get back to me, last time I did that it kinda worked

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


kinda?

neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I forget, once it worked, once it didn't

You should hit up the mods thread though! If I do it again it might come off as needy haha

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


yeah alright

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


so i asked, but if i get banned again, it's on you

neekafat
January 28th 2018


13298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Did you ask for both of us or just you

Papa Universe
January 28th 2018


18446 Comments


to quote Sowing: "I've been trying to cycle through reviews to maximize feature time for everyone...I have a long list right now (which is a good problem to have!) but should be able to get them up there soon. I just don't want to push Portal and Pendant off quite yet."



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