Some Old Thoughts on Some Old Damien Rice Songs…

Had quite the “Woah, I really wrote that?” moment last night. Via Spotify I found out that Damien Rice released a new album last fall. It made me remember that I had really loved some of his music in 2007/2008. It started with “9 crimes” being featured on “Grey’s Anatomy”, a show I loved so much back then, but for reasons unknow I haven’t listened to his stuff in ages.

While listening to the new record on Spotify and once again being caught off-guard how touched I am by it’s intensity, I remembered that it had been the same with the first two records and I went to search my (by now offline) blog archives from that time. And I found a song-by-song review of those two albums I wrote back in August 2007. With an elaborate rating system and all. I had no recollection of having done that whatsoever. Our memory is a fickle bastard, sometimes, right?

As soon as I will have managed to fully listen to the new record for a few times I will write more about it and about what I love about his music. But for now, I’ll only give you an – hopefully somewhat adequately translated – excerpt from the old reviews, including my favourite line from each song as well and the playlist to go along with it…

Volcano
I needed some time to get used the dominant bass in this song, it felt a bit to monotonous at first. But then some lines of the lyrcis are repeated as well, so after a while that exactly makes the song special. Sad and beautiful song.

“You give me miles and miles of mountains and I ask for the sea”

The Blower’s Daughter
Beautiful ballad. The first few chords just accompanied by acoustic guitar, then the bass joins in and the strings. And then there is his voice with so much emotion *sigh*

“I can’t take my eyes (mind) off of you” (in all the beautiful variations..)

Cannonball
One of the few songs, which might be seen as “mainstream” (suitable to get into music rotation on the radio). Catchy, but not too predictable, which makes it stand out from the standard, boring music on the radio.

“There’s still a little bit of your song in my ear, there’s still a little bit of your words I long to hear”

9 Crimes
The first Damien Rice song I ever got to know, as it was featured in a pivotal scene of Grey’s Anatomy. Gave me goose bumps the first time I heard and it still does and will do forever. Incredibly beautiful, very adagio song with lyrics which are open to some or better said a widfe range of interpretation. Whatever interpretation, I’m still just very touched by it.

A favourite is difficult to choose, because all in all it’s a masterpiece of writing, I think. If I had to choose, I’d say the last “Is that alright, is that alright, is that alright with you? – No!”

The Animals Are Gone
Beautiful. And sad. But most of all beautiful. Once again, with just a few instruments. Acoustic guitar and strings and this constraint makes his music so special. I sometimes don’t quite get what he wants to say with his lyrics, but the music itself evokes so much emotions. Not a fan of the choir bit at the end, but still a great song.

“Woke up and for the first time the animals were gone”

Rootless Tree
The song sounds like an innocent popsong at first, but when listening carefully to the lyrics you know right away that there is more to it. The chorus is unusally “rocking” for Damien Rice and in the end the despair over the fucked up situation of this relationship is clearly palpable. Great song to relieve pentup anger too, because it does help to sing (along) and scream “Fuck you!” :-)

“And if you hate me, hate me, hate me, then hate me so good that you can let me out”

Coconut Skins
A more fast-paced song, which kind of reminds me of old Dyland songs. Nice. And a simple plea to not waste too much of your time doing useless things.

“But time is contagious, everybody’s getting old”

Accidental Babies
Very quit song about a love that shouldn’t be, because she’s in a relationship with someone else. (At least that’s my interpretation). Beautiful and sad and sung with such desperation. Beautifully written too, more of a story than just a poem. I really like it a lot.

“Is he dark enough to see your light?”

Sleep Don’t Weep
Another song featured on Grey’s in a very important scene. No song would have fit better, mood and lyrics wise. Beautiful, sad, but also still hopeful. Once again I really love the repetiveness of some of the lyrics.

“I hope I find a place where I feel I belong”

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