Album Review: Glen Hansard - Rhythm And Repose

18 July 2012 | 8:50 am | Tom O'Donovan

A debut solo outing that is strong, but by no means life-changing.

One of the finest voices in modern music, Glen Hansard's work is drenched in passion and honesty. Front man of iconic Irish rockers The Frames and one half of award-winning duo The Swell Season, the folk crooner has finally released his first solo offering, Rhythm & Repose. With a career spanning over two decades, it's a surprise it has taken him this long to release a record under his own name.

In the wake of his much-publicised split with fellow Swell Season and real-life partner Marketa Irglova, the general mood and themes are simple on this record; Hansard sings of love, life and a fractured soul, but with an upbeat feeling of  hope prevailing throughout the eleven tracks.

The strongest tracks are ironically the most stripped-back and raw numbers, as Hansard ponders lost love on the heartfelt Love Don't Leave Me Waiting and conveys sheer emotion on album highlight Talking With The Wolves, with his incomparable trademark delivery, as he wails over a driving acoustic backdrop. 

Maybe Not Tonight and What Are We Gonna Do ensure the album cruises along at a moderate pace, with the former harking back to a folk-inspired '70s era. Rhythm & Repose is an ideal soundtrack to a lazy, melancholic Sunday afternoon, but it certainly won't top many end of year lists. A debut solo outing that is strong, but by no means life-changing.

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