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Damien Rice :: My Favorite Artists/Bands

I think it was Cannonball that I first heard, and I think it may have been playing in a television show, Alias, if I remember correctly. I can almost see the scene, and feel the pin-prickles move across my skin while it played. The song stuck around long past the scene itself, and I soon was searching for it to include in a mix tape I was making. The lyrics to the song were heavy and heartbreaking, and I felt each line as it was sung. Love that could sink you, that could break you into pieces, that could teach you to lie, yet love that you still wanted to hold tight to; yes, I knew how that was.

Delicate came next, followed shortly by The Blower’s Daughter, though eventually the entire album of O purchased real estate in my heart and never moved away. Damien Rice’s songwriting was something I’d never quite experienced before. It was so raw, visceral even, reading like ripped out journal pages that no one was really meant to read. There was absolutely no way to listen to the album’s set of songs without crying at some point. Yet somehow, within these songs, hope was born, and the reasons to run from love got blurred by the desire to let yourself fall hard, even if you would sink like a cannonball in the end.

Later came 9, and if I thought parts of me broke in the midst of O, well it was this new collection of songs that would shatter all of me. This one felt like the journal pages were mine, and I was not so sure I was ready for anyone else to see them, much less hear them sung back at me. The line “give my gun away when its loaded” in the song 9 Crimes, I’m not sure I could adequately articulate how it affected me, or how much it resonated with my deepest feelings. Elephant and Rootless Tree and Accidental Babies, all three of those songs reflected so much of my life at the time, and even now, years later, they are painful to hear, yet so beautiful, as well. The songs on 9 Crimes are one’s I am never sure I’ll get over. They feel like unrequited love holding hands with regret, and yet, well, they are so fucking beautiful it makes them impossible not to want to listen to, again and again.

My Favourite Fantasy is still leaving its mark on me. The musical impact not any less than its predecessors, because Damien Rice knows how to write a song that cuts like a ragged razor edge, slowly, jaggedly, yet somehow precise, and potentially deadly. I’m always so willing to let his songs leave me bleeding out.

His music are intimate, personal, and yet still hugely cinematic. Gorgeous and emotionally gouging, his songs are some of my all-time favorites. I’ve yet to see him play live, in-person, but I’ve watched, and listened to, countless live recordings and they are even more remarkable than his three studio albums. I hope someday I get the chance to see him live.

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Damien Rice, born in December of 1973, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician and record producer who plays piano, guitar, percussion and clarinet.

Rice began his musical career as a member of the 1990’s rock group Juniper, which were signed to Polygram Records in 1997. The band enjoyed moderate success with a couple of single releases, but a projected album fell apart because of record company politics. After leaving the band he worked as a farmer in Tuscany and busked throughout Europe before returning to Ireland in 2001 and beginning a solo musical career.

After returning to Ireland a second time, after his farming and busking days, Rice gave a demo recording to his second cousin, music producer David Arnold who then gave Rice a mobile studio.

In 2001, Rice’s song The Blower’s Daughter charted in the Top 40. Over the next year he continued to record his album with guitarist Mark Kelly, New York drummer Tom Osander aka Tomo, Paris pianist Jean Meunier, London producer David Arnold, County Meath vocalist Lisa Hannigan and cellist Vyvienne Long. Rice then embarked on a tour of Ireland with Hannigan, Tomo, Vyvienne, Mark, and Dublin bassist Shane Fitzsimons.

In 2002, Rice’s debut album O was released in Ireland, the UK and the United States. The album peaked at # 8 on the UK albums chart and remained on the chart for 97 weeks, selling 650,000 copies in the US. The album won the Shortlist Music Prize and the songs Cannonball and Volcano became top 30 hits in the UK.

In 2006 Rice released his second album 9 which was recorded during the two years prior. 2007 was a year of touring with Rice appearing at England’s Glastonbury Festival and the Rock Werchter festival in Belgium. In 2008 he contributed the song Making Noise for the album Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace in support of the 14th Dalai Lama and Tibet.

In 2010, he contributed the song Lonely Soldier to the Enough Project and played at the Iceland Inspires concert held in Hljómskálagarðurinn near Reykjavík centrum.

Rice recorded a cover of the Juniper track, Crosseyed Bear for the compilation, Help: A Day in the Life.

In spring 2011, Rice featured on the debut album by French actress and singer Melanie Laurent. He appears on two tracks on her debut album En t’attendant while collaborating on a total of five tracks which feature on the album.

After eight years of various collaborations, Rice released his third studio album My Favourite Faded Fantasy this past Halloween (October 31, 2014).

Rice’s songs have appeared in various films and television series’ scenes.

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My Top 10 Favorite Damien Rice Songs:

1. The Blower’s Daughter
from the album, O

“And so it is,
the shorter story,
no love,
no glory
no hero in her sky.”

2. 9 Crimes
from the album, 9

“Give my gun away when it’s loaded.”

3. Delicate
from the album, O

And why do you sing Hallelujah,
if it means nothing to you?
Why do you sing with me at all?.”

4. Lonelily
form the album, B-Sides

“And now you’re coming home,
and I’m trying to forgive,
you’re coming home.”

5. Rootless Tree (live)
from the Abbey Road recording

“What I want from this
Is learn to let go.”

6. I Don’t Want to Change You
from the album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy

“Wherever you are,
well, know that I adore you.”

7. Elephant
from the album, 9

“So why d’you have to lie?
I take it I’m your crutch,
the pillow in your pillow case,
it’s easier to touch.”

8. Amie
from the album, O

“But I’m not a miracle,
and you’re not a saint,
just another soldier on the road to nowhere.”

9. Accidental Babies
from the album, 9

“Do you come together ever with him?
And is he dark enough,
enough to see your light?
And do you brush your teeth before you kiss?
Do you miss my smell?
And is he bold enough to take you on?
Do you feel like you belong?
And does he drive you wild,
or just mildly free?
What about me?”

10. The Professor and La Fille Danse
from the album, B-Sides

“What makes her come?
What makes her stay?
What make the animal run, run away?”

damien rice faded review

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