After eight years Damien Rice is back with third album My Favourite Faded Fantasy. Still a hopeless romantic in turmoil, he brings out a musically rich album with typical Damien Rice traits and a few more surprises. After such a wait, Rice hasn’t lost his touch and doesn’t disappoint.
Not one to make a scene, Rice slips back into the public eye quietly, with all eyes concentrated on the album and not publicity events. The album is not a re-invention of Rice or an attempt to fit in the modern music scene as we see with lots of returning artists. Instead, Rice’s album is a continuation of his previous musical work. All the songs on the album are over three minutes and you get the impression Rice has his priorities set on musical credibility leading the album to be a genuine honest expression.
After such a wait, Rice hasn’t lost his touch and doesn’t disappoint.
The album certainly has its own feel compared to his previous albums but Rice’s style is still prominent throughout. We still get the slightly peculiar lyrics, the emotive tone and the richness of music used in each song. This album features a variety of instruments, and strings take the centre stage throughout. At points it borders on classical, for example in “It Takes a Lot To Know a Man” we are treated to a beautiful instrumental. Rice’s sensitive and distinctive vocals shown off occasionally compliment the chosen instruments. The layering and wide web of instruments in his songs give the impression that all of these songs have been constructed carefully. The album deserves more than one play as by the third listen it’s easy to discover an instrument you didn’t acknowledge previously. In fact, the more you listen to this album the more addictive it becomes.
It’s not a glaringly modern album but Rice has done well not to compromise his orchestral approach and is happy to let good music do the talking
The album has been well thought out with each song leading into the next. The first song and single “My Favourite Faded Fantasy” starts the album and is different to Rice’s previous songs- it has a more modern electronic feel. The next song “It Takes a Lot To Know a Man” sets the tone for the album – a soft song that’s easy to listen to with a dramatic style and full of instrumental variety. Rice manages to take us on a journey as you wouldn’t be able to forecast the rest of the song from the first minute which is true for most of the album.
I do think Rice has weighted the first half of the album with his stronger songs and found the second half more disappointing in comparison. The songs seem to be pretty similar at first glance, all following the same dramatic emotive style, involving a crescendo effect in a lot of them. However, they seem to have been re-worked and well-crafted as separate songs and each has an individual feel within that formula. Although it is hard to skip a song, it would be nice to see greater diversity within the album.
Rice manages to take us on a journey as you wouldn’t be able to forecas
Rice shows off his lyrical genius in this album, and I would have been severely disappointed if this talent had been lost. He has a way of using words that aren’t acquainted with common feelings which make the song sound more sincere and true, this is refreshing and gives subtlety to his songs. For example, he writes a love song entitled “The Greatest Bastard” similarly as he has done before with songs like “Cheers Darlin’’.
Not one to make a scene, Rice slips back into the public eye quietly, with all eyes concentrated on the album and not publicity events.
It’s not a glaringly modern album but Rice has done well not to compromise his orchestral approach and is happy to let good music do the talking. Rice also hasn’t been scared into making a safe album which is admirable. He is still making well thought out music that is a rewarding listen. I for one am very glad to have him back.
Favourite track: The Greatest Bastard
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This was a great review- I’ve never listened to him before but have now got the album on continuous replay!! 🙂