Damien Rice's first album 'O' was for me, one of the defining cds of the last 10 years! So it was with some trepidation that I approached his follow-up, however, I need not have worried.
As with 'O', Damien's haunting songs of love, loss, pain and regret squeeze you emotionally and are touching on the most profound level. Lisa Hannigan's delicious vocals and harmonies add perfectly to the atmosphere he creates with simple, mainly acoustic guitar or piano arrangements.
There is however a new edge to his sound. 'Rootless Tree' is a case in point. It begins gently as so many of his ballads, charting the sense of loss at the end of a relationship before launching into an angry, hurt tyraid. Initially it jarred slightly and I was unsure whether I liked it. However, ironically this is probably now my favourite song on the album. The anger, angst in its lyrics: "Hate you, love you and all we've been through" so perfectly sums up the tortured anguish so many of us feel when love goes wrong...we regret, and we don't regret, we hate, yet we love. For me it is heady stuff!
His lyrics are beautiful as ever but have more maturity. The relationships he explores in these songs are fully grown. Damien Rice has lost none of his magic for me.
Fans of 'O' may need to give this a few listens before fully appreciating and enjoying the whole album. I know I did. However, it is worth the investment. Damien Rice still has integrity, honesty and the most emotionally intense and moving songs in the market today in my opinion.
I love this album!!!