<h5>Damien Rice <em>My Favourite Faded Fantasy</em> Tracklist:</h5>
<blockquote>1. "My Favourite Faded Fantasy"
2. "It Takes A Lot To Know A Man"
3. "The Greatest Bastard"
4. "I Don't Want To Change You"
5. "Colour Me In"
6. "The Box"
7. "Trusty And True"
8. "Long Long Way"
Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice has released My Favourite Faded Fantasy, his 8th studio album and first since 2006's 9. The Rick Rubin produced album finds Damien doing what he does best, which is setting the mood with soul-searching lyrics and expertly played guitar. Blending in perfectly are cascading string arrangements, piano, backing vocals, and the occasional drum part. Above, you can listen to the complete album via Spotify.
The title track kicks off the album with a gentle touch that demonstrates his powerful voice. "It Takes A Lot To Know A Man" is a heartfelt piano ballad supported with sympathetic string arrangements. While the song reaches close to ten minutes long, it's a roller coaster of sounds that features piano playing as comfortable as your favorite pillow. We get a taste of Rick Rubin's mastery here as Damien's voice switches from the left channel to right and allows his singing to have enough space to breath between the instruments.
On the decision to have Rick Rubin produce the album, Damien Rice said:
I came to Rick mostly based on what I didn’t know about him, rather than what I did. For some reason I just had a feeling that I would feel comfortable being open and being me and being vulnerable with Rick.
Honest and emotionally charged lyrics are the highlights in "The Greatest Bastard" and "I Don't Want To Change You." Damien has a powerful voice, but it never overshadows his guitar playing, as evidenced in "Colour Me In." Here, he blends his singing with acoustic picking and minimal piano notes while he pleads to "Come let me love you." "The Box," as with most songs on this album, starts with soft piano notes and guitar before Damien draws the listener in with his words and shifting vocal deliveries.
"Trusty And True" is the second longest song on the album. It's here that Damien is most impressive as a songwriter, expanding the song into a musical odyssey. Aggressive strumming midway through suddenly gives way to a near whisper of piano and guitar notes. Closing out the album is "Long Long Way," which resembles Rice's 2002 song "Cold Water." Czech singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová provides beautiful accompaniment vocals on the track, as it quietly fades into the night.
It may have taken Damien Rice eight years to put out My Favourite Faded Fantasy, but it's been well worth the wait. Mournful introspection is the meat of most of these songs, which seem to draw from his split in 2007 with former romantic and musical partner Lisa Hannigan. Rice captures heartbreak in a way that is relatable to anyone who's been through their own breakup, and reminds us that every cloud has a silver lining.
For Damien Rice's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.