From a whis­per to a roar

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - LAU­REN MURPHY

im­pas­sioned re­frain of “I never meant to let you down”, the lam­en­ta­ble Colour Me In and the de­fi­ance of The Box are high­lights, dis­re­gard­ing the odd rhyming dic­tio­nary-style clanger.

The po­ten­tial for po-faced, an­guished pre­tence is max­imised in such self-flag­el­lat­ing cir­cum­stances, but the lush mu­si­cal agenda light­ens the tone. The largely del­i­cate acous­tic scaf­fold­ing of th­ese eight tracks are gen­tly nur­tured to plump, or­ches­tral con­clu­sions, strings sweep­ing cin­e­mat­i­cally through the epic nine-minute-long It Takes a Lot to Know a Man and the com­mu­nal sin­ga­long de­noue­ment of Trusty and True.

En­list­ing Rick Ru­bin’s ex­per­tise is cer­tainly a state­ment in it­self, although it’s dif­fi­cult to hear what the pro­ducer has brought to the ta­ble, other than a mu­si­cal for­mula that Rice is per­haps overly re­liant on. For that rea­son, the in­tri­ca­cies – both mu­si­cal and lyri­cal – of My Favourite Faded Fan­tasy are best un­earthed on head­phones.

True, eight years is a long time, but this col­lec­tion sug­gests that he is not ready to set­tle into his dotage just yet. damien­rice.com.

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