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DAMIEN RICE – O (2002)

DAMIEN RICE - O (2002)1. Delicate
2. Volcano
3. The Blower’s Daughter
4. Cannonball
5. Older Chests
6. Amie
7. Cheers Darlin’
8. Cold Water
9. I Remember
10. Eskimo

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Date de sortie : 1er février 2002 / Label : Damien Rice Music / Pays d’origine : Irlande

Il aura fallu 2 ans de travail à Damien Rice afin de réaliser son 1er album. Et pourtant le succès fut immédiat. Chose impressionnante, Damien Rice a non seulement écrit et composé, mais également auto-produit son album (sorti sous le label DMR : Damien Rice Music). Il en touche donc à peu près tous les droits. Et cet album indépendant, à force de tournées à travers les clubs du pays et le bouche à oreille, est entré directement en 7ème place des ventes en Irlande. Épatant.

Après avoir joué plusieurs années dans des groupes avec ses camarades d’école, Damien Rice décida de quitter l’Irlande afin de jouer seul à travers les rues en Europe. Il rentra huit mois plus tard, une démo en main, qu’il envoya au compositeur de musiques de films David Arnold (James Bond, Shaft, Independence Day). Impressionné par ce travail, Arnold invita Damien Rice à enregistrer son 1er album dans son studio mobile, où ce dernier enregistra librement ses titres dans les pièces de son choix : « I was able to record in the toilet at 4am, for example, if that’s where it felt right! », confie-t-il simplement.

Plein d’émotion, l’album de Damien Rice sait ‘toucher’ ses auditeurs. Sans compter le superbe artwork de la pochette et du livret. C’est après l’avoir vu jouer un set acoustique en 1ère partie de Joseph Arthur que cet artiste dont j’avais eu quelques titres entre les mains m’a séduit, j’espère qu’il en sera de même pour vous.

The album opens so quietly you barely notice. My favourite song at the moment is delicate. It and volcano were recorded live on the wooden mezzanine floor with the slanted roof, in a midnight session, while neighbours slept. They had to go first on the album because it was the last and most poignant session we had during the recording.

The Blowers Daughter I recorded solo in the same room a good couple of months earlier in a necessary moment; again live and click-less. The cello went down later. Vyvienne played amazingly. The fourth song Cannonball was different. The guitars went down first, layer after layer. I left this song aside for months without a vocal take. Lisa told me to finish it, so I did. I remember writing Older Chests in a friend’s apartment beside Christchurch as the bells were ringing. One day I recorded a demo kneeling on the floor with 2 mics leaning on shoes pointing in my direction. I sang the song. Months later, when I got into the studio I couldn’t improve on this performance, even with all my new gear. So I used the demo on the album. The street children are from St. Brigids in Celbridge; I stood there as they poured out of school, some looking strangely at me with a microphone in my hand.

David Arnold transformed Amie. It started out in 4/4, he made some suggestions, it ended up in 6/8 and with a string arrangement that still causes me to breathe deep. Reminds me of the day I lay by the radiator by the big window, stared at the sky and asked for a sign.

Probably the most spontaneous recording on the whole album is Cheers Darlin’. The night it happened I was still unsober when I got home, set up the studio, looped some noises and a sad guitar part, just grabbed the mic and sang. Whatever came out in that instant went down. The words just fell out, and I love listening back thinking, « that was 3 am on that night ». Then I went to visit Jean in Paris, set up some mics over his piano, played him the song and I pressed record while he casually improvised along, finishing the song.

Cold Water…when ill and brushing death we sometimes get very focused and sometimes, all of a sudden, religious. No past, no future, just now. Desperate. Lost. I spent some time alone in an abbey in the south of France with a monk who composed Gregorian Chants. Tomo & Shane found the perfect drums & bass feel.

I remember very well walking home from the GAA club in Celbridge alone, one cold night, writing I remember. Passers by staring, probably assuming I was drunk. I was freezing and had to keep going so I wouldn’t forget the words. I was elated.

Lisa, who has had the greatest influence on this record, took this song and made it her own.

The Album, like a gig, finishes with Eskimo, the hardest song on the album to record because I had done it before, a couple of years back in Windmill Lane recording studios, in an energy-charged couple of days with an orchestra and opera singer. A record company had paid for the session, therefore owned the ‘rights’ of that particular recording, so I had to do it all over again. The worst thing to do when recording is to compare and of course, I compared. Drove myself mad on this song, until I stopped.

Something turned and then time said I was finished. And so I was. And so it is, nothing like I said it would be… »

(Critique et commentaires sur l’album par Damien Rice, www.damienrice.com)

Titres conseillés : Delicate, Volcano, The Blower’s Daughter

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