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Half-drunk pints, memories and mistakes – Glen Hansard evokes a whole range of feelings through his latest album Didn’t He Ramble. Prepare yourself for one hell of an emotional journey.
Yet, despite his at times melancholic musings, his underlying and unyielding sense of positivity prevails. After all, what’s a good love story without a dose of heartbreak here and there? And Glen Hansard would have to be one of the best storytellers around.
Taking some time out from being the front man of The Frames as well as one half of The Swell Season, Hansard delivers a raw and intimate offering for his second solo album. The opening track Grace Beneath The Pines, sets the tone perfectly with its understated string accompaniment allowing the rich texture of Hansard’s vocals to shine – that Irish lilt tho #dayum.
The man knows his way around a ballad with Wedding Ring telling the classic tale of love lost. Things pick up through Winning Streak, which nails that laid-back country vibe before it all gets a little gospel in Her Mercy – bonus points for the brass work in this one.
It’s hard to place this album within a specific genre as Hansard blends and melds the best bits of many styles. Though he certainly goes full Irish in McCormack’s Wall complete with fiddle outro. The rest of the album settles into a comfortable folk-esque groove before the heart-felt and heart-warming Stay The Road brings it to a close all too soon.
Produced by Thomas Bartless (The National, Sufjan Stevens) and former The Frames band-mate David Odlum, Didn’t He Ramble is the perfect balance of what you expect from Hansard’s previous album Rhythm & Repose plus a few subtle surprises thrown in for good measure.
Bottom line? The raw honesty of Hansard’s lyrics teamed with his raw talent – you can expect nothing less than his usual Academy Award winning standard.
Watch: Glen Hansard – Winning Streak