First Spin... Damien Rice's My Favourite Faded Fantasy
Eight years is a long time. A long time to wait for anything, especially in the music industry. But that’s how long Damien Rice has left it. His last album 9 hit shelves in 2006, back when Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, the singer-songwriter supremos of 2014, were still in their school uniform.
He’s spent the years in between then and now quietly residing in Iceland, living quite happily off the royalties from his debut album O, which sold over two million copies and, slowly planning a comeback. A comeback that is now complete with the release of his new album My Favourite Faded Fantasy, which has been produced by Rick Rubin and which emerges today (November 3rd) and you can preview on the right hand side of the page.
To celebrate his return, we’ve reviewed every track on his comeback record, here’s our first spin…
‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’
The album’s title track begins with nothing but a guitar and Rice’s voice. It builds and builds, with strings and a rollicking guitar riff eventually giving way to an epic crescendo, that sounds a little like the moment where Radiohead go mental in ‘2+2=5’.
‘It Takes A Lot To Know A Man’
This is Rice’s take on a baroque waltz, with a stirring, sweeping melody, and a portentous tone. For the first four minutes it’s a little Bob Dylan and a lot of Leonard Cohen, but the last five are pure Sigur Ros, complete with a gentle piano recital and epic orchestral movement.
‘The Greatest Bastard’
As well as having a wonderful title, this is one of the album’s highlights, a stripped back ditty that’s quite reminiscent some of the cuts on O, it’s lilting, lovelorn and contains a lovely swelling string section.
‘I Don’t Want To Change You’
If we haven’t said already, then be warned, the songs on this album are long, the shortest clocks in at four minutes and 26 seconds, the longest at nine minutes and 33 seconds. This is one of the shorter cuts, coming at five minutes and 26 seconds and it’s one of the sweetest. Built round a gentle acoustic guitar and mellow drum roll, this harks back to more traditional singer-songwriters with Tracy Chapman and Paula Cole with it stirring, defiant chorus.
‘Colour Me In’
Another highlight, a gentle strum, Rice’s voice building up to a real stirring track, the kind that could be played over the top of a dramatic finale in a costume drama.
The album’s angriest moment, this is a spiky ballad, where it feels like Rice voicing pure frustration over a piano and plucked guitar. Again, it builds up into a monster, a monster with full-on crashing guitar crescendo.
‘Trusty And True’
Another epic, clocking in at over eight minutes. This has the feel of a classic folk song, the kind you can imagine a pub full of strangers singing along together, it’s jaunty, whimsical and will drag you along to the very end.
‘Long Long Way’
Perhaps its living and recording in Iceland, or perhaps he really just likes Sigur Ros, but Rice has certainly developed a taste for epic soundscapes on this album, and there are none bigger than the album’s closer. It’s enormous.
Damien Rice’s My Favourite Faded Fantasy will be released on Monday (November 3rd).