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iTunes 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

Customer Reviews

soundtrack

I was given O 2 years ago while my mother was dying and I was driving a 120 mile round trip 3 or 4 times a week to visit her....O became the soundtrack to her death. Listening to it now is almost too much. I am so pleased to have 9 to listen to, it doesn't have the same resonance but it still touches nerves. I love it and the sadness that it evokes. We need music like this to make us feel sometimes.

I so wanted to love this album....

I didn't know it was coming and my reaction when I saw it in the shop window was slightly sad considering my age. Listened to O on the way home (lucky its winter and I can sing along without too many stares) and then downloaded this. So after a couple of listens its probably unfair to post a review - the number of listens to O requiring a reset of my ipod counters due to not wanting to be viewed as a mentallist. O meant a lot to me and still does, like all great music its evocative and takes you back to places you occasionally would rather not go. Will 9 be the same.. well after a couple of listens its going in the right direction. 9 Crimes is awesome. Rootless Tree getting there and Sleep don't Weep is fantastic (if you ignore the last quarter of an hour). I read the reviews before buying - but knew that I was going to buy it. Your probably doing the same now - do it if you loved O. In a couple of months time, I'll decide whether the 5th star should be added, and with music this good that is the way it should be. This isn't dispoable pop, not sure its great art either but its grand stuff.

4 years later ...

... disappointment. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this really isn't the follow-up I was expecting. For starters, some of you may have heard the live bootleg of 'Blowers Daughter 2' doing the rounds. It appears here as 'Elephant' and it's vastly inferior, due to Damien's insistence to shy away from standard production techniques on this album. I can almost see why - the horrendous commercial 'mixes' of Cannonball and Blowers Daughter that came out from the last album, destroyed the credibility of the songs, but on this album it seem as if he has taken his passion for a 'raw live' type sound one step too far. Ironically, Damien Rice sounds a million times better live than any of these tracks suggest. The album is still 'good' and there are some tender moments ... but it's sounds more like the B-Side to 'O' then 4 years of considered work. Overall the album can be summed up by the comparison of the two 'hidden track' albums ... on 'O' we got Eskimo Friend, on '9' we get 6 minutes of a humming sound. Damien, you can do better. Your fans deserve better. I’ve download better bootlegs from your website. Please don't leave it another 4 years before releasing '&'.

Biography

Born: 07 December 1973 in County Kildare, Ireland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice launched his music career in the late '90s with the hard-hitting indie rock outfit Juniper. The group signed to Polygram in 1997 and released two singles, "The World Is Dead" and "Weathermen," which did moderately well on Irish radio, but when it came time to record a full-length album, contractual rules from the label prevented Juniper from doing so, and Rice split. After a brief respite in Europe, Rice returned to Dublin to focus on music once again, scrounging...
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