Album Choice - Damien Rice: My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 22:45


My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Damien Rice


Singer / Songwriter

So then, you’ve been wondering what the hell Damien Rice has been up to for the last eight or so years? Sporadic contributions to various charitable causes aside, the Kildare man has been silently domiciled in Los Angeles, supposedly concocting his third release, and falling in, and perhaps out of, love, if this collection is to be believed. Beginning with the brittle whisper of the title track and ending seven songs later with the controlled cacophony of Long Long Way, My Favourite Faded Fantasy is a compelling comeback, laced with self-recrimination and regret. The Greatest Bastard’s impassioned refrain of “I never meant to let you down”, the lamentable Colour Me In and the defiance of The Box are highlights, disregarding the odd rhyming dictionary-style clanger.

The potential for po-faced, anguished pretence is maximised in such self-flagellating circumstances, but the lush musical agenda lightens the tone. The largely delicate acoustic scaffolding of these eight tracks are gently nurtured to plump, orchestral conclusions, strings sweeping cinematically through the epic nine-minute-long It Takes a Lot to Know a Man and the communal singalong denouement of Trusty and True.

Enlisting Rick Rubin’s expertise is certainly a statement in itself, although it’s difficult to hear what the producer has brought to the table, other than a musical formula that Rice is perhaps overly reliant on. For that reason, the intricacies – both musical and lyrical – of My Favourite Faded Fantasy are best unearthed on headphones.

True, eight years is a long time, but this collection suggests that he is not ready to settle into his dotage just yet.