Record review: Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy (2014, LP)

damien rice

Damien Rice has never seemed like one to chase commercial success, but he found it nevertheless with his 2002 debut O; an album which broke a thousand hearts and made the Irishman a reluctant star. It says a lot that he waited four years to release a follow up, and it’s taken a further nine for this third album to appear, but his lack of commercial ambition remains steadfast, if his inclusion of the letter ‘u’ in ‘favourite’ is anything to go by. The recent disturbing trend of middle-class whiners posing as earthy folkies and finding success is not one Rice could ever be associated with, as he gets straight into showing off his vocal range with the opener and title track. The nine-minute soaring ballad that is second track ‘It Takes A Lot To Know A Man’ could be a mini-album in itself and is worth the price tag alone, whereas ‘The Greatest Bastard’ comes straight from the school of Nick Drake. ‘I Don’t Want To Change You’ will have global audiences singing along while shedding a sea of single tears, and there’s the expected healthy dose of melancholy spread over ‘Long Long Way’ and ‘Trusty And True’. Rice has never sought fame, but when you’re this good a songwriter, it’s going to find you all by itself, and even an album of only eight songs like this seems like an embarrassment of riches. (Atlantic)

For mX

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