‘Didn’t He Ramble On’ - Glen Hansard - an intensity that’s impossible to ignore(September 11, 2015)
There are some artists that possess voices that express their songs in a way that takes them beyond the aural experience where most songs operate into a visceral level where they ‘live’ the song. And in the way of these intense experiences they ensure the listener ‘lives’ them too. That’s what you get with songs from Glen Hansard, and on his latest album, ‘Didn’t He Ramble On’ you have the impression these songs are torn from the depths of the man.
Sometimes singing sometimes almost speaking the lyrics, there’s an intensity that’s impossible to ignore. In his words, Hansard says: “I feel I’ve really dug deep for these songs…” and without doubt I would agree with him. Music like this doesn’t just arrive, it has to be mined from deep inside.
All you have to do is pick a song from anywhere on this album to share the experience of Hansard’s abilities - the quiet affirmations of the opening track ‘Grace Beneath the Pines’, the powerful presence and longing of ‘Winning Streak’ and the beautifully precious reminiscences of ‘McCormack’s Wall’. This is an album that needs your attention, to have this playing in the background is nothing short of a crime. Make time to take time with ‘Didn’t He Ramble On’, it will reward you with its intimacy, understanding and quiet empathy, from the anger and pain in ‘Lowly Deserter’ to the frank revelations of ‘My Little Ruin’.
With a musical pedigree that includes The Frames and The Swell Season duo, this is Hansard’s second solo album, and with it he’s set the bar pretty damn high.
You can find Glen Hansard and ‘Didn’t He Ramble On’ here: glenhansardmusic.com
Review: Tim Carroll