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