10 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Irish troubadour Damien Rice came out of virtually nowhere in 2003 with a debut album O that stunned listening audiences and discerning critics with its moody melodicism and earnest poetry. His long-awaited follow-up 9 is another melodically strong, romantically hypnotic collection, its only sin being its inability to be the out-of-left-field surprise of the debut. You can only jump out of the box once, after all. Rice stays true to his muse throughout, resisting the temptation to use his newfound celebrity as a soapbox or a launching pad for a grab at a diverse, mainstream audience. His pulse quickens for the greater noise of “Me, My Yoke & I,” but these are primarily quiet, reflective tunes that prefer whispers to screams, recorded on a “home studio” in various locations. He recalls the “living room” intimacy of Joni Mitchell’s piano-based early ‘70s work. Rice gently-plucks his acoustic guitar, lightly tinkles the piano and harmonizes with an unrushed casual demeanor that demands the listener slow down and lean forward. Even the gentle orchestration behind “Gray Room” is kept small and intimate. But listen closely to “Dogs” or “Accidental Babies” and revel in the simple elegant aura

EDITORS’ NOTES

Irish troubadour Damien Rice came out of virtually nowhere in 2003 with a debut album O that stunned listening audiences and discerning critics with its moody melodicism and earnest poetry. His long-awaited follow-up 9 is another melodically strong, romantically hypnotic collection, its only sin being its inability to be the out-of-left-field surprise of the debut. You can only jump out of the box once, after all. Rice stays true to his muse throughout, resisting the temptation to use his newfound celebrity as a soapbox or a launching pad for a grab at a diverse, mainstream audience. His pulse quickens for the greater noise of “Me, My Yoke & I,” but these are primarily quiet, reflective tunes that prefer whispers to screams, recorded on a “home studio” in various locations. He recalls the “living room” intimacy of Joni Mitchell’s piano-based early ‘70s work. Rice gently-plucks his acoustic guitar, lightly tinkles the piano and harmonizes with an unrushed casual demeanor that demands the listener slow down and lean forward. Even the gentle orchestration behind “Gray Room” is kept small and intimate. But listen closely to “Dogs” or “Accidental Babies” and revel in the simple elegant aura

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