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


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 28th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...