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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Touching
i first heard of Damien Rice when I saw him perform his song "Cold Water" on TV on the Jonathan Ross Show. During the performance I was so amazed at how good the song was and how amazing his voice was. On the strength of this one performance I bought his album "O". When I put it in my CD Player it didn't come back out again- it still hasn't!
It is one of the most...
Published on 3 July 2004

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Damien Rice has talent. He probably also has Tom McCrae's albums.
I did like this album, but thought there were traces of overkill - particularly on Blower's Daughter.
Some tracks sounded like he'd lost interest part way & were fudged through (which I think's a bit lazy really). Would have expected more attention to detail on a debut.
Bit patchy, but loved...
Published on 6 Oct. 2003 by Katie McNulty


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece, 17 Nov. 2006
By 
F. K. Burgin "orgnanised rich" (glasgow uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
if james blunt is the anti christ, damien rice is the avenging angel from heaven.

i love this album. i bought it after seeing rice support kathryn williams. he was mesmerising and i bought this album the next day (should have bought it on the night and got to chat to damien who was selling them).

as an album it is beyond refute. some people have complained about the production. the production sounds fine to my ears. if they are after perfection they are missing the point. little of the components in this music is perfect. the mix of all the elements create a spell binding beautiful creature.

in fact i remember, on first listen i was not all that impressed, but i listened and listened, and by the evening of that first day i was calling my friends telling them they must buy it.... since then it has just got better...

PS shame about the remakes of the singles though. not a patch on the album version.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, soulful, beautiful, 27 Dec. 2003
By 
Mr. A. J. Whiteway "andy-ru" (Londinium, uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
It was with trepidation that I approached 'O' by Damien Rice. It was an album that had been heaped praise upon praise, and been hyped up so much it just seemed that it was very unlikely to quite match up to the expectations I had after I heard the admittedly excellent 'canonball' on the radio.
Well I was proved very wrong.
The opener delicate is tinged with a melancholy that permeates the entire album, and is all the better for it. Immediately we see the distinctive styles of Lisa's voice and a beauitful cello, these distinctive styles are reinforced on Volcano with its pulsating rhythms and aching cello line that have stuck in my mind for a while now. I liked that the album was brave and bold; it was the first album I have listened to in a while that seemed to have some sort of narrative drive; ie that the songs work as a collective whole rather than the 'best of' shuddering that seems to accompany many of this years releases. The earleir part of the album therefore seems to deal with bittersweet celebrations and rational for love (among other thigns) and therefore the latter would seem to concentrate on the inevitable fallout. Dark Water is beautiful - a haunting piano and lisa's ethereal voice seemingly rising out from nowhere. Oh and i almost forgot the strance vocal chants that greet the end of this track - and it works! My favorite is I remember, a song that starts off with lisa's description of a relationship, followed by Rice's twisted and bitter reply, realised in a rising and violent string delivered finale that wouldn't have sounded out of place on OK computer. In short, if you don't own this album you need to.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O-Mazing!, 6 Nov. 2003
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
This is one of the most touching albums I have heard my whole life. Recommend to me by a friend at the local newspaper, I was told "buy Damien Rice's album, without even thinking about it. You won't regret it." I did, I didn't and I don't...not for a second.
Soft guitar riffs and perfect lyrics surge through your body like blood through your veins. Damiens voice penetrates every thought you have ever felt creating emotions you wouldn't dare to dream existed. Slowly the hairs on the back of your neck jump up as if trying to gain more from the music than they already were...it's not possible, he is already delivering all he can. If you weren't a fan you will be. 'Delicate' is exactly as it is titled, he means every word that choruses out of his mouth and grabs hold of you promising not to let go. 'Cheers Darlin' sounds as if it were recorded in a cafe somewhere, cunjering up images of young couples in a coffee house as Mr. Rice sits alone in a corner singing of broken promises, you can almost feel the pain yourself. "I die when you mention his name"...we are dying with you.
Often accompanied by the voice of a female, Lisa hannigan. Complimenting each other amazingly all through the CD you learn to love the soft tones, as you are willingly pulled through the whole set; Love, Despair, Angst, happiness. You are witnessing something special. Each song delivers the highest quality of vocals, it would be hard to produce something of this standard unless you truely meant every word...and I believe he does.
One of the most beautiful albums you will be listening to for a very long time.
For a debut so beautiful and promising it will be hard to top, nevertheless, as long as 'O' is gliding through us all I won't be worried...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars open your ears, 21 Jan. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
Going to see 'Closer' at the cinema, I was completely blown away by it's opening and closing song - The Blower's Daughter. I had heard of Damien Rice, and of a couple of his songs, but never really 'listened' to them. I got home and listened to him properly, and decided that this album is whithout a doubt the best album you will ever have the fotune to listne to. Perfect melody, excellent voice, and amazing lyrics - this album will be played over and over again by all who own it - simply perfect
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Perfection!!!, 27 Aug. 2007
By 
Mark A. Warmington (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
I bought this album after googling the title track to the depressingly bad film "Closer."

Blowers Daughter almost brought me to tears - as the lyrics are so beatiful and full of angst that they tug on your heart without any mercy what so ever.

The album [no exageration here] is played on my laptop 6 out of 7 days of every week since I first ripped it to my media player. I put it on whenever I want to clear my mind.

O is permanently in my multi changer in my car and I have subsequently enrolled my younger brother into the Damien Rice fan club.

Damien Rice has managed to become one of my top 5 artists of all time and will forever remain in that category.

Every track on the album has something to say, every line brings something to each track. O is an album you can play without the need to skip to your favourite track.

Honestly - once you are stung by the opening bars of Delicate you will find yourself entranced all the way through to I remember.

A perfect example of what can be achieved by an artist with true talent.

No need for production to improve vocals, no need for electronic equipment to invent a beat. Just a guitar and a vocalist with something to say.

Buy it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, heartfelt songwriting, 10 Dec. 2003
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
Having only heard about Damien Rice a few months ago i was curious to see what all the fuss was about. This album is a glorious piece of music and one of the best debut albums ever. Rice has a superb talent for creating catchy yet heartfelt songs that really call out to be sung along to, which leads to another point, his voice is amazing as is lisa hannigan's who sings beautiful harmonies and the lead lyric on "I remember". There isn't a bad song on this album, all the 10 tracks flow with a graceful melody that sinks deep into your brain and doesn't stop for overan hours worth of audio lushness. If you haven't heard it then you must straight away, it never strays far from my CD player and is definately one of the best albums i have heard in years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Breathtaking, 6 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Damien Rice O (Audio CD)
I first heard of Damien whilst I was living in Dublin, and alot of hype was being promoted about this new legend which is Damien Rice. I bought the album out of interest and was amazed by how much talent this man has. His use of poetry mixed deliously into his music is breathtaking. He takes you on a such heart felt, bitter, yet uplifting musical journey, one that everyone should enjoy. Its a shame that musician's like Damien, that have undoubtly masive amounts of talent are'nt recognised as much as the worthless talent that is forced upon us by the music industry. You can really relate to his music, the words somehow touch your heart, and forget about the world for an hour. One must also mention Lisa Hannigan who sings with Damien on the album, there two voices just blend beautifully on Volcano and Cold water. If your searching for that perfect album, one that gives you everything, then stop and purchase this- you wont be disapointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!, 8 April 2010
By 
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
`O' saw Damian Rice returning to the music scene after a few years in the wilderness. From previous bad experience with bands and the pressure of record labels he wanted to make his own album without any compromises. His debut is a mix of emotional folk rock, soft enough and with enough commercial melodies to please middle of the road types, but with enough wit, satire, and occasional raw outbursts to satisfy the more introverted listener and left fielder. The album was an instant hit with certain singles getting plenty of air time. Now that some time has passed and the hype has faded it can be seen as a good album with a few great songs, let down by too many average forgettable ones. The lyrics are personal and honest, though sometimes the music is lacking any spark or originality. Although it has flaws it is still a major improvement over any of the other male singer songwriters of the 21st century.

`Delicate' introduces us to Damian's sensual and often breaking voice and his penchant for soft melodies mixed with acoustic guitars and backing cello. Many tracks on this album follow suit musically, everything is gentle with the occasional, sudden emotional outburst. This all serves to lend an image of a solo set in a darkly lit bar, the singer pouring out his heart while only half hearted listeners gather round the kegs and bottles. This is mostly easily listening musically, although Rice reaches for repeated listens with his ambiguous lyrics.

`Volcano' is more memorable than the first track thanks mainly to the catchy string section hook. Lisa Hannigan lends the track a further eerie air with her soft, haunting vocals, fighting for main spot with Rice in a song about a relationship gone wrong. As usual the lyrics and vocals are never less than heartfelt, Rice infuses his words with anger, bitterness, and sexual humour much like any fight towards the end of a relationship may go. This dualing vocalist style has been done countless times before, but here because they sound so similar it adds tragedy to proceedings as if it is saying that they can never fit despite being so close. This also presents another Rice favourite- a final biting lyric at the end of the song once the music has passed.

`The Blower's Daughter' is probably the most famous song on the album having been used in various movies, TV shows etc and may still be his best. Emotional, soul baring lyrics, swelling strings through the growing phases of the song, a glorious chorus melody immediately destined to be sung by a million buskers around the world. There is joy and regret, hope, and despair, humour, and acceptance, and ultimately love. Rice expands with a Hannigan bridge again to give a conversational side before himself coming in with one final vocal blast. Ending with another fading final line it is perfect in every way.

`Cannonball' merges with the end of the previous song, starting with an infectious riff which Rice follows vocally into the verse. The lyrics are ambiguous enough to be read from a straight romantic standpoint, or from a more slanted sexual view. His chorus highlights his best melodic qualities, providing the listener with another sing-along, or drunken slur-along as the case may be. His heart may be on his sleeve here, but as always it is smirking.

`Older Chests' begins in a folksy style with an almost Joni introduction- everything is gentle with just the performer, his voice and his words. The chorus brings forward the cello in a swelling wave as Rice bemoans the passing of time. Yearning for a pause button, or at least a rewind one and wishing things could stay simple, stay the same, stay as they were when you felt your greatest moment, these are all staples of the poet and of the haunted singer songwriter, and Rice becomes a worthy addition with this.

`Amie' is another sumptuous string filled piece sung with fondness, a love song with lyrics which could cover unabashed devotion, giving up your fear to be with someone, giving in to sexual urges, experimenting with love, relationships, and relations. The extended string ending reminds not of the end of love, but the end of your favourite TV show after a 7 year run.

`Cheers Darlin' is an experimental song with an old Parisian feel, a dedication to drunken, depressed, dreamers the world over. Most of the percussion comes from the clashing, filling, and smashing of classes reflecting abandonment, indulgence, and anger. There is a dreary, dizzy tone throughout, the lone voice screaming at no-one from underneath an upturned table. As with most of the album the best moments are when Rice stretches his vocals and when the cello grows. The ending becomes quite chaotic, bringing visions of the drunk crashing out of doors and down alleyways, and the final few moments of piano and electric guitar are highly affecting.

`Cold Water' is a beautiful mixture of prayer and agony fuelled yearning. Hannigan and Rice compliment each other perfectly, although the odd chanting vocals don't work for me. Piano and acoustic chord takes front seat for this one. The chorus, string hooks, and subtle melodies are infectious and make this a forgotten great from the album.

`I Remember' starts primarily as a Hannigan song, a touching vocal about remembering various moments of a relationship, first sight, first kiss etc. Her voice suits the song as it moves from tender to loud at exactly the right place, before Rice takes over with a more harsh, kick ass side. There aren't many rock moments on the album (naturally) but this is about as close as you will get. It works surprisingly well, as if all the restraint shown from every other song is finally allowed to burst forth.

`Eskimo' doesn't stand out until the first chorus which has a bouncy, catchy melody and leads into the next section with wave like strings. This builds and progresses throughout making the song a slightly offbeat outing, especially when the operatic vocals come in. Rice clearly isn't afraid of taking unusual steps and trying the unexpected and here it comes off well.

`Prague' is Rice's version of the classic quiet/loud/quiet form, with dark lyrics, and a shadow filled tone throughout. The loud part would usually be rage but Rice goes for anguish instead, tearing out his hair rather than screaming for blood. The song is too long for me as it doesn't vary enough, typically songs in this style are much shorter and I don't think the final minute where he reverts back to a reverb filled quiet state adds anything.

`Silent Night' follows the melody of the hymn, but updates the lyrics with Rice's trademark bile and sarcasm. It is basically Hannigan's lone voice free of music, closing the album, and finishing the story if you see it as a concept album. It is suitably haunting, and leaves a lingering sensation which you can't quite register.

Rice's first album was a breakthrough, bringing the male singer songwriter back into the limelight. Of course it has yet to be topped, and most of what has followed has been poor quality copies or emotionless commercial attempts. This is a great first album by any standards with just enough variety and experimentation to stop everything sounding stale and samey. There is plenty of passion; it is this which marks Rice as a great artist above his contemporaries who seem to mostly be in it for the money/fame/fashion/women. The album crosses quite a few boundaries, perhaps the most notable being that it can be studied by fan-boys who want to decipher every word and note, but easily be played as background, easy music for any party or gathering regardless of musical taste or level of anarchy to which the party ascends. If you have heard and enjoyed any of the singles, give the album a go or if you missed out when first released, it is still as potent now if you're looking for something fiery yet subtle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uplifiting, Definitive Debut, 17 April 2005
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
A truly defining album, I have waited a long time to hear such a provoking and beautiful masterpiece as offered by Damien Rice. From start to finish it brings you in and forces upon the listener all the experiences and emotions intended. A collection of tales of love from the romantic "Amie" to the bitter and dying "I Remember" and as deep and touching as the dying daughter on "Cold Water". Remarkable is Rice's ability to place into words what it is to love. Bringing out the truth's such as "You know when you've found it, There's something I've learned, 'Cause you feel it when they take it away" that are not only striking in themselves but also in his delivery.
The guest vocals of Lisa Hannigan are used with such precision to only increase the effect of Damien's own. The flow of the album is also something to be in awe of, the movement into love, through the troubling times, to the bitter endings and then like a good friend the off-subject uplifting finale. Noticeable again is Damien's view of the world on "Older Chests" rife with a feeling of nostalgia and the delightful line "Children scream, or so it seems, Louder than before. Out of doors, and into stores with bigger names." The most absorbing quality of the album is its familiarity, captivating so many aspects true to life that most listeners will have experienced some form of. My favourite aspect of the album is after building up a truly beautiful and deep love the deeply familiar sudden tear away on "I Remember".
The themes in 'O' aren't exactly new but are so commonly told with teenage angst or with a contradictory upbeat tune that it is somewhat refreshing to hear the sincere and striking vocals accompanied by the powerful and rich sounds of classical instruments. This accompanying sound most notably enriching on "Cheers Darlin'" with a beautiful movement into the tragic and gentle "Cold Water" where the use of vocals perfectly sets off the subject and gives a real sense of slipping away into the beyond. As already mentioned "I Remember" is truly the stand out track for me, Hannigan given a full verse which is performed gracefully then Damien's violent and angry reply showing the lack of need for more colourful language and building up the final climax to these tales of love and love-loss. We are then guided into the uplifting, engaging and unusual "Eskimo" providing a sweet come-down from the previous events.
SPOILER...
Though it doesn't stop there with rewards for the patient listener are two bonus tracks that continue this powerful talent Damien has already showcased. "Prague" is the only electric track on the album and offsets this dark and epic piece, accompanying Damien's frayed vocals and bursts of tortured screams. The final track "Silent Night" showcases Hannigan's talents in this harrowing take on the festive carol, bringing the entire experience to a gentle and provoking end. There is so much I am unable to describe about this album and this is only part of the beauty and talent demonstrated in this debut album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC OF OUR TIME, 15 Aug. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
'O' is simply one of THE classic records of our generation, probably in the top ten albums of all time. It simply is that good.
It manages to embody the sensibilities of an entire generation and yet, still speak to each of us individually. It pulls this off without patronising the listener even once.
I bought this record very soon after first release after hearing a track on an evening show on Radio 1. Two years later it is still on my regular playlist. I must have played 'O' a thousand times and I am still entranced by 'Delicate', the most perfect opener for an album of this type. I still feel like he wrote 'Cannonball' just for me to listen to. The whole thing is so absorbing and mesmerising, even the frenetic & desperate hidden track 'Prague' (which should not have been hidden, it deserves it's own listing!).
With all the (deserved) fuss surrounding 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' as a genuine classic, 'O' could get missed in the history books. This would be a travesty because it truly is a piece of art. Damien Rice must be worried about the next album. This is a giant of a record to follow-up. The one-off 'Unplayed Piano' is promising but Mr. Rice should not fall into the Coldplay trap of making us wait 4 years for the next album. We might have forgotten what we were waiting for. We don't want Damien & Lisa to go the same way as Eg & Alice do we?
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O by Damien Rice (Audio CD - 2003)
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