If you didn’t think someone could have more pent up emotion and/or feelings than Taylor Swift then you probably haven’t listened to Damien Rice.
It has been a long eight years since Damien Rice released his last album 9 leaving fans, and those in the middle of a breakup, desperately scouring YouTube for someone who can match up to the Irish singer’s raw acoustic sound. However the search can end as the singer/songwriter’s new album My Favourite Faded Fantasy was released worldwide on 10th November and it is really, really great.
Comprising of eight longer than average tracks, Rice returns with an album that is truly beautiful and guides listeners from song to song effortlessly, ending on the chilled out ‘Long Long Way’ with whispered vocals and classical piano. Other tracks such as ‘The Greatest Bastard’ which includes woeful cries of “I never meant to let you down” delivers ferocity but in a gentle manner as the singer emphasises his own flaws allowing emotion to seep through. I’m sure hearing the album live would be phenomenal.
My Favourite Faded Fantasy probably won’t immediately blow you away with the singer himself even admitting that some of the tracks are “growers”, but it is beautifully constructed and Rice’s raw, undoubtable talent is clear. It is understated and subtly brilliant with songs that require more than one listen to appreciate them fully. The main talent Damien Rice possesses is definitely his lyric writing and this album goes town in showing this off. Beautiful vocals allow his genuine and occasionally humorous story to be told as he guides the listener on a different journey through each track, exploring the topics of love and life. A mournful string section cuts through the familiar acoustic guitar numbers which fans have grown to love, and subtle percussion beats keep a pace to an otherwise slow collection of songs.
Although it could be argued that the album is “more of the same” there is definitely a larger emphasis on orchestral instrumental backing music compared to previous albums, and perhaps a more melancholy feeling to the album as a whole. However, Rice hasn’t really gone in a significantly different direction with his music, but I am sure fans will be more than happy to just have Damien back doing what he does best. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Eh, Damien?
In between charity work, maintaining such great facial hair and having his songs used as X-Factor number ones (apparently nothing to do with him) it is questionable whether Damien will be releasing any other tracks in the near future. However, although I’m sure fans will be hoping that they don’t have to endure another eight long Damien-less years, the quality of this album is definitely enough to keep us all going for a long time yet.