The Perfect Return of Damien Rice
After an eight-year hiatus, Damien Rice finally returned to music last month with the release of My Favourite Faded Fantasy. While the wait for new music from the brooding Irishman was painstakingly long, his latest creation does not disappoint. With his characteristic angst and haunting reflections on love, Damien produces a beautifully melodic sound. My love for Damien Rice’s music is rooted in the contradiction of sounds and sentiments that it expresses. His voice is constantly evolving, alternating between lullaby whispers and screaming bursts of emotion. A diversity of instruments adds to this feeling with crying cello and intense percussion combinations producing a perfectly cacophonous sound.
My Favourite Faded Fantasy is everything that Damien Rice fans have been waiting for. He is still the tortured hopeless romantic yet equally a brilliant musical storyteller. This is in no way an album for the perpetual optimist. The self-doubt and disenchantment of Damien’s poetic lyrics are all-consuming.
“Colour Me In” is a must-hear track and perfectly encompasses the style of Damien Rice. The acoustically driven intro builds to a full symphony sound as Damien’s tone changes from softly soothing to desperately emphatic. “Come let me love you…” is repeated in a pleading chant as the music soars. This song simply draws you in.
Another personal favorite, “I Don’t Want to Change You”, follows a similar progression of building feeling and musical intricacy. This is the first single off the album and is extremely well complemented by a music video that makes use of reverse techniques to match the rhythm of the song. While the pairing of water with the lyrics “water racing down” may be obvious, it still has a striking effect.
Finally, it is necessary to note the title track, “My Favourite Faded Fantasy”, for its layered lyrics. At times cryptic, it easily resonates with the experiences of lost or unrequited love. This song is everything that Damien Rice represents: hopeful desire for a return to previous happiness.
[image source: artist website]