Damien Rice - 9
If it's not broke...
| 12 Dec 2006
Album title: 9
Artist: Damien Rice
Ushered in by the familiar tones of frequent collaborator Lisa Hannigan, 9 shows that Rice is a true believer in the old "if it's not broke..." aphorism. Opening track and lead single '9 Crimes' finds Rice in his regulatory reflective form, exchanging verses and confessions with Hannigan. 'The Animals Were Gone' ensues with its "waking up without you/ is like drinking from an empty cup" refrain. And on to 'Elephant', originally called 'Blower's Daughter 2', obvious upon listening. Combined, this triplet of songs could well have been the final tracks of O. Lyrically, it seems Rice has experienced little cheer in the interim, despite all his commendation. Whoever this girl is, she must be a proper bitch.
Rice's remarkable ability to convert his mental state into a melancholic melody is matched by his scene setting observational craftsmanship ("I love your depression and I love your double chin"). Predictably fashioned for the most part from acoustic intricacies and delicate pianos, this, like its predecessor, has obviously been burning inside Rice for some time, which is why it's not an immediate listen. 'Coconut Skins' (with a surprising upping of the tempo), 'Me, My Yoke And I' (featuring an electric guitar, if you will) and the haunting 'Accidental Babies' are among the highlights here. As an album, it is an unashamed extension of O and detractors will almost certainly be sharpening their tongues, but it would have been criminal to leave these songs unwritten, even if they will be rammed down our throats for the remainder of the year.
Release Date: Out now. http://damienrice.com