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Glen Hansard

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/07/2012 (3864 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Glen Hansard

Rhythm and Repose (Anti)

All too often when the frontman of a rock band steps out on a solo venture, the resulting album sounds a bit like watered-down versions of the group’s songs.

Happily, the first solo album from Frames frontman Glen Hansard isn’t just Frames-lite; the songs sound different — rootsier, looser, with some overt nods to Van Morrison. Fans might miss the cathartic climaxes and snarled guitars of the Irish group’s more rock-oriented songs — Hansard is in slow-burn mode here, and it might leave some listeners hanging — but his balladeer’s voice is so full of emotion, he carries you along.

It’s a contemplative album, with lyrics that dwell on love and loss, and the backing is so minimal and muted, in fact, you might find yourself turning it up a lot. Bird of Sorrow starts out softly, just vocals and piano, and gradually adds strings, drums and guitar, building up to the explosive, passionate vocal release that Hansard does so well. Races, an obscure Frames cover, switches up the backing to mournful organ and piano. It’s a tad snoozy in spots, but lovely melodies and Hansard’s singular voice win the day. ‘Ö’Ö’Ö’Ö

— Jill Wilson

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