Thursday, July 19, 2007

finally listening to

I am back momentarily after spending too much time on Facebook when not job hunting, etc. I want to let you know of something keeping my attention...

Damien Rice. Like many of you, I first became interested in Rice in 2003 with his excellent debut album, O. Since then we have had many imitators and others that on the surface remind you of Damien. You know, Wimp Rock (overly wrought emotion, trying to grab girls and be on a Scrubs or Grey's Anatomy episode- see The Fray, etc.). Rice sings the same style as these guys, but there is something much richer and deeply emotional. While knowing this, I bought 9 when it came out and promptly ignored it.

In fact it was dutifully slammed by the yucks over at Pitchfork (gave it a 1.9 out of 10- this is why we must ignore the Immediastas and give things time). However, one reviewer said this...
"there's another noise that can be made out faintly but distinctly - the sound of the Grays, LaMontagnes, Johnsons and the Blunts of this world breaking their pencil tips on their jotters in sheer envy and frustration"
Only lately have I begun to spend the time this album demands. It is actually better than O, a bit more diverse, complex and dark. He is a wonderful storyteller, weaving disturbing, yet beautiful melodies and images together to create songs that sound as comforting as chicken soup, but with a touch of jalapeno hidden to be discovered at an inopportune time- just to see if you are paying attention. In fact, some have dubbed him King of Pain, a favorable comparison to the original King (Sting).

Watch him on Austin City Limits if you can catch it. He is even better live than on record.

video to 9 Crimes (if you saw the latest Shrek, this song is the film's highlight)

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