Sound — 10
Damien Rice is one of my favorite artist out there right now. "O," his breakthrough debut CD, is my favorite of all time, so far. O has such a diverse and eclectic sound to it through his expression of moods and feelings. O starts out with almost a lullaby, and melodic sounds with "Delicate". "Volcano" takes a 180 and shows a different side of Damien. "The Blowers Daughter" is his largest consumer hit. Love song/obsession comes over the listener and shows his life. "Cannonball" and "Older Chests" have an Elliot Smith meets Ray LaMontagne sound in which its a more relaxed and story-like quality like most irish musicians have. "Amie" by far is the greatest love song I have heard in a while. With simple chord progression and an orchestra backing the song, what is not to love. "Cheers Darlin'" is a jealous rage, with the beginings of the sounds in a wedding reception. it crescendos to its very climatic end. "Cold Water" might come off a little redundant at first, but takes a few times to see the real beauty in it. "I Remember" is almost bipolar in a way, with it starting with Lisa Hannigan singing a lullaby. Her voice wailing in such sorrow captures the listener to hear more. Damien comes in slowly with the guitar, more complex than chords, and then it happens. It turns into another, even better, jealousy rage and using different vocal sounds. The guitar goes into a mess Weezer-esque and just bass in the end. "Eskimo" is my favorite track on this album for 2 reasons: it is 16 minutes long and it is such an amazing song. Damien does his thing, in starting out soft, and very patient. He has a woeful high-pitch voice and gets to the chorus then decreases down, into the verse. When it reaches its climax, Damien seems to just let go and hang on his last note, then an soprano opera singer comes in and sings in Italian with such a booming voice. This all somes to a soft and quiet end. Prague comes in after 2 minutes of silence with his patient and heartbroken guitar riff. Prague is the very climax of the entire album, and you can see why. Don't want to give away to much. After about 2 and a half minutes after prague ends, Lisa Hannigan comes in a capello singing a different lyric version of silent night, and comes to a soft, silent end to O.
Lyrics — 10
Words cannot describe his lyrics, in a way thats ironic. His lyrics go blissfully into the music as if you would have never seem to hear it before. Damien has an amzing and beautiful voice that you don't see around these days. Not since Jeff Buckley, have I heard such an amazing talent for singing. He has a very distinct tone in his high, and low voices. With accomaniement by Lisa Hannigan on most of the tracks, the overall two sided views of them go hand in hand.
Overall Impression — 10
in my list of all time great albums, this is my favorite. It covers every possible mood you could be in, and thats what makes an album great. If I were to compare this album to another, I would look at Grace by Jeff Buckley, Garden State Soundtrack and Trouble by Ray LaMontagne. For any lover of music, in the indie, alternative, and rock. This is an album for you!