Album: Damien Rice
9, 14TH FLOOR
Friday 03 November 2006
At times during this follow-up to O, his two-million-selling debut from 2002, Damien Rice comes across like a latter-day equivalent of Cat Stevens or Leonard Cohen, his bedsitter images populated by characters such as "the girl who does yoga", and heavily loaded with emotional turmoil. But instead of Cohen's measured, implacable understatement, Rice applies a bruising method more in keeping with Alanis Morissette, or even grunge - all those quiet, self-consciously intimate openings building to cacophonous, string-drenched climaxes with overwrought choruses. These songs are emotional knots that seem to get tighter as Rice tries to unpick them - though there's less melodic charm involved here, and much greater readiness to luxuriate in melancholy. It's OK for a few tracks, with Rice's knack for an arresting image ("Is that all right? To give my gun away when it's loaded?") sustaining one's interest through the first half's clutch of animal-themed tracks, but by the time of "Me, My Yoke And I" the virtually hysterical pitch of proceedings has leached the album of any remaining traces of enjoyment.
DOWNLOAD THIS: '9 Crimes', 'The Animals Were Gone'
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre