Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Damien Rice, 9 NORA


Damien Rice, 9
By Nora Costello

9
pulls us in slowly with Lisa Hannigan’s willowy vocals, then charges forward into Rice’s bleeding-heart wails. While cozy lyrics like “I love your depression and your double chin” are sweet, Rice's work doesn’t live up to his vocal power, and is overwhelmed by over-the-top orchestral work. Despite possessing Jeff Buckley potential, Rice unfortunately gives into the Connor Oberst lurking within him. The result is hollow and trendy. In the second half of the album, Rice trades power and grit for tempo, denying us the vocal energy at which he excels. Too folk-y and trying too hard, 9 is sleep-inducing. While it isn’t all bad, the 20 minute track “Sleep Don’t Weep,” half of which is high pitch musical wineglass sound, is unforgivable.
Rating: Like three razor blades and a spoonful of sugar

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