Rhythm and Repose
Jul 02, 2012 Web Exclusive
In the six years since Irish indie film phenom Once was released, star Glen Hansard (already noted for his work with folk rock band The Frames) has racked up an Academy Award, a Grammy nomination, eight Tony Awards for the film's Broadway translation, and been handpicked for a number of national tours, including two with now good friend Eddie Vedder. So when Hansard announced his first solo work outside of The Frames and The Swell Season (the band that grew out of a relationship with Once co-star and former flame Marketa Irglova), the world was watching.
Yet sadly the "High Hope" for Rhythm and Repose barely goes beyond the aptly named fourth track as one of the only numbers that displays Hansard's gutteral vibrancy in an album that otherwise feels pedestrian. The album is slow and steady without ever finding its pinnacle as songs such as the opener "You Will Become" and "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" remain in a sullen world of alt country without ever ripping into the soul Hansard so inspires with on Once/The Swell Season hard hitters "When Your Mind's Made Up" and "Say it To Me Now." Irglova makes an appearance, credited as an "other voice" on two tracks, but the passion that once gripped moviegoers and music listeners has dissipated. The beauty is there in mindful lyrics, but what listeners won't get is the level of performance that "once" was. (www.glenhansardmusic.com)
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 6/10