Damien Rice – £21.99 – x 2 LP My Favourite Faded Fantasy (released 3rd November)

“Rice distinguishes himself with a powerful voice that carries both grace and grit…melodies that rise and fall with startling dynamic force.” The New York Times

“Damien Rice is returning with one of the albums of the year” Evening Standard

“You don’t write red-raw words like these unless you’re for real. Damien Rice is that rare beast.” Guardian


Damien Rice will release a new album, ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’, on November 3 via Atlantic Records. His first collection of new material in eight years, the record was co-produced by Rick Rubin, with sessions taking place between Iceland and Los Angeles. Led by new single ‘I Don’t Want To Change You’, ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’ follows the seminal ‘O’ – which sold two million copies worldwide and spent 80 weeks on the U.K. chart—as well as the million-selling, Brit-nominated follow-up, ‘9’. Having already gone Top 10 on pre-orders and confirmed an early return on ‘Later…With Jools Holland’, Damien will perform a short run of intimate American and European shows surrounding the album’s release – featuring a London date at The Palladium on November 7 (which sold out the morning of release).

Sometimes you have to step away from what you love, in order to learn how to love it again. If ‘O’ was the result of patience – recorded at home, initially self-released, and taking Rice from busking around Europe to a household name – ‘9’ was arguably made with frustration; the sum of three years’ touring, and the sudden addition of external expectations. Rice vowed never to let the same thing happen again and, not for the first time in his career – a break before ‘O’ saw him retreat to Tuscany, where he became a farmer – he simply stepped away. Packing everything he needed into just two suitcases and spending the eight intervening years on the move, he had achieved the success most artists dream of but emerged empty, lost and creatively dissatisfied. Whilst fans would repeatedly ask “when?”, for Damien the real question shifted to “why make an album at all?”

‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’ suggests that the answer may have been staring right back at him all along. It’s a record which might seem to address a lover, following a career admittedly spent getting the last word in, or attempting to take it all back again. Here, however, is a selection of songs which – says Damien –  are “sung straight into the metaphorical mirror”. Those reflections appear to shift and slide from the self-aware (‘It Takes A Lot To Know A Man’) to the self-critical (see the barbed humour of ‘The Greatest Bastard’) and, perhaps, to that place of moving forward (particularly the rousing uplift of ‘Trusty & True’). It’s a lyrical push-and-pull effectively based on the idea of being yourself, which can be felt in the ambitious scope of Rice’s new material (the longest track clocks in at just under ten minutes) but is also articulated into something more raw, heavy and focused (just eight final songs were selected for the record).

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