9 review by Damien Rice

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  • Released: Nov 14, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (27 votes)
Damien Rice: 9

Sound — 10
I was absolutely thrilled to hear Damien Rice was coming out with a new CD. I thought O was the sleeper hit of 2002, and was probably my favorite album of that year. 9 did not disappoint. From the first soft piano chords of the track, 9 Crimes, I was absolutely smitten. His backup vocal partner, Lisa Hannigan is once again in top form. The album takes you on an emotional roller coaster as only Damien can. The album is pretty standard fare for Damien, but that is not a bad thing. It is a nice, mellow outing, with some exceptions (Elephant comes to mind) right up until "Me, my yoke, and I", the 7th track, which explodes into sonic mayhem midway through. Overall, it delivers exactly what I had hoped, and so much more. This is bound to be the "breakup album" of the year.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of 9 are a study in songwriting perfection. I simply cannot listen to this album without a tear in my eye. From "Leave me out with the waste/this is not what I do" on 9 Crimes, right through to "My face is all wet/'cause my day was rough" on the lullabye-esque Sleep Don't Weep. I cannot get sick of his imagery, or his wonderful lilting tenor. He earns the "explicit lyrics" sticker for such gems as "F--k you, f--k you, f--k you, and all we been through" on Rootless Tree, and earns my award as a lyrical genius for things like "Do you brush your teeth before you kiss?/Do you miss my smell?" (Accidental Babies). Lisa Hannigan's breathy backup and counterpoint is a dreamy and perfect addition.

Overall Impression — 10
I don't feel you can compare Damien Rice with anyone, but if you put him and some of Bright Eyes' mellower, acoustic material, you have got yourself one hell of a "quiet night alone with your girl" compilation. My personal favorite tracks? 9 Crimes is the best, but I also love rootless tree, Accidental Babies, and Me, My Yoke, And I. If you haven't heard it yet, do yourself a favor and buy it.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He doesn't use Lisa near as much as on this album; it's more about him, and while it's still a great CD, I strongly disagree with a perfect score.
    In my opinion, 9 is the album of 2006, followed by Artic Monkeys and Incubus' recent outings, so deserves the perfect score..... a perfect score for a perfect album
    my only problem with it is the 16 minute thing at the end that is supposed to be calming It makes me angry. Good album though.
    Actually, the only problem I have is 'Rootless Tree'. It sounded like a good song at the start, and then he just unloads, and I didn't really like that. But still, brilliant stuff,
    thanks for the input, everyone, i really appreciate it.
    Covin wrote: while it's still a great CD, I strongly disagree with a perfect score.
    in defense of my perfect score, i am an aspiring singer/songwriter myself, {not a terribly good one, admittedly} and if i could write an album like this, i could die and go to songwriter heaven. i suppose it comes down to to personal taste. this album really moves me. thanks for being gentle in your dissagreement, covin.
    My person favorite is Rootless tree, when I first heard the song I was taken back at the bluntness. Damien is usually the kind of singer that directly attacks the song with a roundabout or metaphorical edge (cheers darlin, Prague, Blowers daughter, etc) but this song is just so straight foward that I couldn't listen to it. Once I got enough nerve to take a second listen, I was blown away. WHY? Cause I have been there and done that, he's purposely being str8 foward in order to make the girl hate him enough to let him go. AMAZING...he goes from calm singing and then just out the blue "FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU...and all we been through" wow... My other favorite is grey room. In Damien's concerts he talks about this song being a song that describes how when he's writing sad songs it makes him sad because of the content...and how he hates to be so sad. The grey room is the feeling that he has when he writes the song...I love the concept. "I've been here before, slept on the floor in a grey, grey room" its an incredible song. It seems like he made it into a love song and realized that in the end...he has himself to make him feel better, and that the outside emotions of the song won't get him down. I love it. Elephant is also a great song (blowers daughter 2) I've heard it so many times that I was kinda shocked that he made the studio version. Then as I was singing it along with the song, I noticed he completed the song with the last verse. It gave the WHOLE song a new meaning. He didn't choose either one of the girls, and he knows that he won't be happy. I love that ending. I could go down the list for each song but why...just buy the album and hear the proof. DAMIEN RICE is the Truth.
    This album is one of the most heartfelt pieces of art i have ever heard. It makes me so depressed listening to it(in the proper way). Damien Rice is a superb songwriter, it doesnt come much better then that.
    Oh man what an awesome album. 9 Crimes, Elephant, Rootless Tree, Me, My Yoke and I, Grey Room, Accidental Babies all 5 star songs. But Im not a big fan of Sleep Dont Weep so this would have got a 9 from me. Pun not intended.