Glen Hansard: Didn't He Ramble (ANTI-) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Glen Hansard

Didn’t He Ramble


Oct 08, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The cover of Glen Hansard's Didn't He Ramble is deceiving: a wintry window defaced by scratches that serves as a barrier between the listener and songwriter. Anyone familiar with The Frames and Swell Season singer knows his songs offer a warm invitation into his world. Ramble, perhaps more than any Hansard release, feels intimate and confessional, marked by encounters with grace and mercy and wrapped in lessons of loss and endurance.

Hansard is fresh from the release of It Was Triumph We Once Proposed, a tribute EP of five reworked songs of the great Jason Molina, which might explain why the Irishman feels so in-the-moment on Ramble. "Winning Streak" and "Stay the Road" places an arm around the listener for a musical moment of perspective and encouragement. "Her Mercy" goes a step further with spectacular gospel flair. Hansard unwraps his own bandages and allows the still-healing scars to tell stories on "Paying My Way" and "Grace Beneath the Pines."

What makes Ramble so musically interesting are guests like Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) and Sam Amidon and the production from Thomas Bartlett (The National, Doveman). The brasswork on Ramble is exemplary, especially on "McCormack's Wall" and "Lowly Deserter." It's an example of the splendid musical layers placed upon Hansard's songs that somehow never cover over his message. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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