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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frames frontman's side project is a thing of simple beauty
Recorded in six days during time away from his multi-platinum Irish band the Frames, The Swell Season - named after a book by Czech writer Josef Skvorecky - is in many ways a companion piece to the band's recent album, The Cost.

Fine though that album was, this is plainly a case of the pencil sketches outclassing the oil paintings. The two albums do share two...
Published on 24 Jun 2007 by C. O'Brien

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Limited edition my a##e
The description said 'limited edition'. There's nothing special about this release, no gatefold, no 180g vinyl! Good album though!
Published 14 days ago by Carl Ryan


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frames frontman's side project is a thing of simple beauty, 24 Jun 2007
By 
C. O'Brien (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Recorded in six days during time away from his multi-platinum Irish band the Frames, The Swell Season - named after a book by Czech writer Josef Skvorecky - is in many ways a companion piece to the band's recent album, The Cost.

Fine though that album was, this is plainly a case of the pencil sketches outclassing the oil paintings. The two albums do share two songs in common, the surging, poignant Falling Slowly and the rather less memorable When Your Mind's Made Up - and it's immediately apparent that these spare, acoustic arrangements serve the emotional content more powerfully than the firepower of a full band.

That may because the subject matter of these songs is highly personal, recording the death throes of love - or it may simply betoken the general cultural movement away from the sturm und drang of band performances in favour of more simple and intimate acoustic settings. Hansard has largely abandoned his rock star identity in his native Ireland in favour of a simpler life in Prague, and here he collaborates with Czech singer and pianist Markéta Irglová and string players Marja Tuhkanen and Bertrand Galen. It's not surprising to learn that Brian Eno told Hansard to release the album just as it was, raw and rough-mixed.

The standout track here is perhaps the simplest of all. Leave begins with Hansard's voice and guitar, a low-key farewell to a departing lover which accelerates into a performance of untrammelled passion so violent it leaves the listener in shock. Almost as powerful is The Moon, a Radiohead-esque hymn to silence which provides, along with the frozen finality of Alone Apart, the last movement in this romantic tragedy.

as published at subba-cultcha.com
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 9 Dec 2007
By 
Douglas (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Well-crafted songs, an expressive voice, wonderful harmonies, thoughtful lyrics and a lightness of touch on this beautiful collection of acoustic-based melodies. Wonderful.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In an O mold..., 27 Dec 2006
By 
Keith Brett "dance phenom" (Dublin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
The Swell Season is Glen Hansard, lead singer of the frames, first "solo" venture, this album was a collaboration between himself and Marketa Irglova a Czech singer. The title "the swell season" was taken from the book of the same name by Josef Skvorecky the czech writer, who Hansard is a devoted fan, he sent the album to Brian Eno who had been a distant adviser for sometime, he had been trying to get him to record the frames for years, he got back to him on hearing it and advised they do no more more mixing and fixes, that it sounded finished to him. so they left it, raw and roughly mixed. And what are the results.....?

Well Its hard not to draw comparisons to Damien Rice's O,its a deeply personal record, the lyrics for the most part paint the full spectrum of the ups and downs of falling in love and breaking up. I think its fair to say that the lows are covered with more depth(sorry, terrible pun).

Marketa Irglova might as well be Lisa Hannigan, she has that rare lovely gentle voice and it compliments Hansards rough passionate voice perfectly. She adds some lovely subtle touches on piano aswell as her own track piano solo track, the Swell Season. THe tracks are also coloured by strings,sparingly, just as in Rices solo effort.

But its HAnsards lyrics and delivery that stand out, theres not a bad song here, every one has something distinct but personally "Sleeping", "This Low" and "Leave" are my stand out tracks, Lyrics like "And how in the world did you come, to be such a lazy love" really will break the heart.

Its a measure of Hansards talent that given the bare minimum of resources and without thinking much about it, hes made a record that eclipses any album hes made with the Frames. If you remotely enjoyed Damien Rices O, I guarentee you will like this too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful simplicity, 16 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Swell Season (MP3 Download)
Bought this after I had seen the film on TV. This album is for you if you look for uncluttered, captivating music with distinctive voices that make you feel all the emotion that has gone into these works of art.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Swell Season, 1 Dec 2009
By 
This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Absolutely amazing. Tender voices surrounded by excellent
music full of strength. And then...Falling Slowly...no comments,
just that it's the most PERFECT song I ever came across with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album, 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
This album has most songs from the Once sound track on it with a few more threwn in. A great sound with thoughtful lryics
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Great product, arrived quickly and have really enjoyed listening to it - it was a gift as I enjoyed the movie Once so much!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful album, 25 May 2013
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This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Mostly a mellow album and very lovely. Really glad I bought this after seeing his work in the film Once.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just great!, 18 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Fabulous album, very beautiful! The Swell Season is a master peace of two great artists. Very good sound, also. In some country's like Portugal, Glen Hansard is not well known and that is terrible. Well, I am very happy with the CD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great music, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Swell Season (Audio CD)
Fell in love in his songs after watching movie Once. Great lyrics, nice music. Good for long cozy winter evening when you feel like chilling and need nice music to set the atmosphere.
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