Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Desert Island Discs 34 O by Damien Rice

34 - O by Damien Rice 2002

Better  be careful here as this was the subject of one of my only 2 take down notices. Got to be in the top 10 break up lps going. Now I love David Gray but when this came out the emotion , the variety and the balls to take some out and out risks (the first time I heard the part when the opera comes in on Eskimo my jaw hung open and it was one of those stop what ever else you are doing moments) knocks him out of the water. 

Even stripped of the full studio power the songs have an intensity that is enthralling and exhausting in equal measure


In Lisa Hannigan he found the perfect vocal foil, I'm not sure what their history was but how can you not listen to this lp and feel like you are eavesdropping on a couple's private breakdown

It is a record that needs to be listened to in one the merging of Blowers Daughter into Cannonball is another drop dead moment in an lp that is full of them, with its pay off of the hushed whisper "until I find someone new"

Having said that the moment when Blower's Daughter pops up in the film of Patrick Marber's play Closer triggered an emotional response that I didn't know was lurking

I'll finish with 3 clips , the videos for the  two best known tracks and then the power of the live performance.


It was a trick he couldn't pull off a second time with the follow up being a disappointment despite the promise of the lead off single.

You can get what is still my go to sad songs lp here


  1. #34 - TOM WAITS - Closing Time (1973)

    - I'm sure TJ will be waxing lyrical about Mr. Waits much later on...

    To be honest I seldom listen to Tom's individual albums. 'Asylum Years 1973-80' covers most of the bases for me, with the exception of the glaring omission of "On The Nickel", "Shiver Me Timbers", "Foreign Affair", "San Diego Serenade" and a couple others. So picking an individual album is a challenge. 'Heartattack & Vine' was my first inclination since it has two of my all-time favorites "Ruby's Arms" and "On The Nickel" but the rest of the album is uneven, as he evolved further into gravel & clongor. Same goes for the magnificent "Kentucky Ave." from 'Blue Valentine'.

    So I'm going all the way back to his debut, which is straight-up singer/songwriter fare a la Randy Newman. Sounds nothing like Waits' later persona, which appears to be a parody of a parody, to me. Does that make sense? Anyway, this one is solid with some wonderful tunes. I'm still hoping Ole' Tom will mellow out and make another album of ballads for geezers like me...

    PS: If you've never heard "Ruby's Arms" please give it a listen. It's a knock-out...
    Grapefruit Moon:
    I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You:
    Ruby's Arms:

  2. I think that using Lisa as a foil for his misery was a brilliant move. What could have been a whinge fest' became something focussed and totally engaging; Ms Hannigan put the 'Maude' into 'maudlin'....
    Nice TT; I'm still struggling with my choice for Tom; he likes to dress the beauty up in ugly clothes; the discord plays a vital part in illuminating those moments of beauty but you need to be in the mood... so either the albums are perfectly pitched mood pieces or annoyingly inconsistent.

  3. I've not heard this album but I really like the clips. Another one to buy ,I reckon.
    # 34 Lightning Seeds - Jollification. Sugary sweet 3 minute pop gems that I never get tired of.'4 Winds' ran it close but after living with Jollification for almost 20 years I had to pick it.
    The perfect 'Perfect'
    Just downloaded the new James Grant remake of 'State of Art'.Well worth 80p

  4. Hi Tim - as I'm not a fan of TWs gravelly years I'm intrigued by your choice and description so will be off to spotify to give a proper listen.

    Phil - joll was on an earlier version of the list and if I did it again today would probably be back on - the perfect pop lp and some great collaborators - it is a shame 4 winds didn't do better as it is a great lp

  5. David; the perfect entry point for Tom is 'Asylum Years'...

  6. I'll start with that and see how it goes


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