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Latest Irish Music Reviews – Glen Hansard Album – Rhythm and Repose

ArtistGlen Hansard
Album – Rhythm and Repose
Label – Anti
Release Date – June 15th 2012

It might surprise many to know that ‘Rhythm and Repose’ is Glen Hansard’s debut as a solo artist. Given that he has been around for such a long time, you would have imagined it would have happened earlier. However, he has hitherto had support from either The Frames or The Swell Season and therefore this album marks a journey into uncharted waters for Glen.

This album is a teaser in many ways. We know what to expect from Glen, which is a complete surrender to the intensity of his emotions through the power in his vocals, but those expectations take a while to materialise. It feels like he has a few gears to move up in the opening tracks, ‘You Will Become’, ‘Maybe Not Tonight’, and ‘Talking with the Wolves’. This can be frustrating when you just want him to let loose and showcase the strength in his upper range. That said it was obviously a measured decision to engage in such introspective performances, made all the more clear by the title ‘Rhythm and Repose’. The reposed nature was completely intentional and completely successful.

The country infused ‘High Hope’ opens up the flood gates as Glen begins to grow more adventurous vocally. In the next few tracks, ‘Bird of Sorrow’ and ‘The Storm, It’s Coming’, he starts to utilise the power in his upper range and his usual passionate intensity develops. ‘Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting’, ‘What Are We Gonna Do’ and ‘Races’ mark a return to the more tranquil side of Glen and it stays that way for the rest of the album. The last track, ‘The Song of Good Hope’, illustrates Glen at his insightful best. The glorious lyrics in this one heighten Glen’s unique sensitivity.
Put simply, ‘Rhythm and Repose’ is as easy-listening wonderland. Glen Hansard just does not know how to disappoint.

Track List
1. You Will Become
2. Maybe Not Tonight
3. Talking With The Wolves
4. High Hope
5. Bird Of Sorrow
6. The Storm, It’s Coming
7. Love Don’ Leave Me Waiting
8. What Are We Gonna Do
9. Races
10. Philander
11. The Song Of Good Hope

This music review was written by Ciaran Sweeney.

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Jun at 10:14 AM