Album review

Damien Rice - 9

Damien Rice - 9

The gradual success of Rice’s 2002 debut, "O", took him from cult status to over-exposure. Fortunately, it hasn’t blunted his songwriting. "9" is a delicate and sometimes bleak record, verging at times on the melodramatic, with Rice apparently exploring the entrails of a terrible romantic hurt.

His debt to Leonard Cohen is evident and, while the music sometimes swells to gloomy thunder (even sounding like PJ Harvey on "Me, My Yoke And I"), Rice is at his best when he’s quiet. The vocal on "Elephant" is brave, staking a terrain right on the edge of embarrassment, and the single "9 Crimes" is a tender duet with regular foil Lisa Hannigan. "O" fans will appreciate the sweet simplicity of "Dogs", while the Nick Cave-like "Accidental Babies" is a grimly intimate exploration of jealousy.

By Alastair McKay

Rating: 4 / 10

Heffa/14th Floor


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This week's big distraction has been what appears to be a crazy number of early Aphex Twin tracks accumulating on Soundcloud (I've added the link below). Among the new stuff, though, please try Bop English; the new solo project of James Petralli from White Denim.

A...