Glen Hansard – Rhythm and Repose

Academy Award winner Glen Hansard has put out the type of record the Academy is primarily preoccupied with. It runs in the same vein as adult contemporary kings Damien Rice and David Gray. Yet Rhythm and Repose is still a solid hand in a sensitive genre; it’s a full house in a poker game. With 80 per cent folk pop, and 20 per cent wildcards, it’s confident and comparatively unique. That it achieves this is what makes it a stand out in a middle-of-the-road genre.
Rhythm and Repose is a love-making album. Smooth and slow, it will keep you going throughout its duration, never making a sudden move that will catch the listener off guard. But it builds, it builds, and ever so patiently it will bring you to “High Hope” (track four), which will have you climaxing to a sing-a-long.  That lasts a while, and then he brings it down, ever so smooth and sexy… Hansard pulls it off almost too well. The record is a glorious crescendo – you’ll come up and down, and enjoy the ride. Even if you are dismissive of acoustic/piano love/heartbreak ballads, you’ll want to make sure your next make out session is to this album.
Hansard is a frustratingly good singer, and his lyrics are designed around that.  In other words, his lyrics aren’t really the focus. His voice is comforting, and his lyrics revolve around that – that is something really good singers that know they’re really damn good do. Overall, this record is more impressive than the album art or genre classification suggest. It throws curve balls in just when it becomes too consistent, and it’s plenty powerful enough to show off to your friends. (Anti-, Matt Austman

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