Damien Rice hasn’t gotten much recognition in the USA or Canada, but the Irishman has been successful in the UK since he started his solo career in 2002. After taking a notable hiatus, My Favourite Faded Fantasy is being released next week which is his third studio album following his debut O and his sophomore release 9, which included backup vocals by then girlfriend and collaborator Lisa Hannigan. My Favourite Faded Fantasy is currently being streamed on NPR, and you can listen here.

Damien Rice is a true singer/songwriter writing about humanity, love and relationships.  Here are our First Impressions from his newest solo effort.

Wendy Redden

I am not super familiar with Damien Rice but figured if it’s on NPR’s First Listen, well it’s probably worth listening to. There is no doubt Damien Rice is a talented songwriter and myself being a female that has been through heartache and failed relationships, the lyrics to some of these songs effectively reel me in. With only 8 tracks on this album, it is just enough for me to acknowledge Rice’s great talent as a lyricist and vocalist.

I feel the best songs are ones that are stripped back a bit, and not ones that sound slickly produced. “My Favourite Faded Fantasy” is a great track and “The Greatest Bastard” could have been written by my last two ex-boyfriends and “I Don’t Want To Change You” is a song I can relate to as well. “Trusty and True” almost felt a bit religious to a point, but it wasn’t a total turn off. I enjoyed the lyrics to “It Takes A Lot To Know A Man”, but it did feel a bit over produced. Rice’s voice is showcased well on “Long Long Way” and is an overall beautiful song.

I give My Favourite Faded Fantasy a definite thumbs up, even though I am not over the top with all of the tracks – the majority are all solid and I’m sure will be worth the 8 year wait for longtime Rice fans. I will definitely be going back to this album in the future.

Rich Moses

I’m not super familiar with Damien Rice either, but I’ve heard a lot about him and a lot of hype around this record.  This record is really good, lyrically and musically. “It Takes A Lot To Know A Man” is such a well written track.  “The Greatest Bastard” is incredible, the strings and horns at the end are perfectly executed. Rice’s voice is incredible throughout, on tracks like “Colour Me In” and “I Don’t Want To Change You” it really stands out.  “I Don’t Want To Change You” may be my favorite track on the record, it has relatable, heartfelt lyrics, and the second half of the song is absolutely incredible.

I have to say, I think I’m a new Damien Rice fan. My Favourite Faded Fantasy is a gorgeous and perfectly produced record. There are some great tracks on here, and Rice is a phenomenal songwriter.  I’m sure this will get a few more spins from me.

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