Posted by & filed under CD Reviews, Music.

Having founded and fronted the Irish rock/folk band The Frames in 1990, Glen Hansard more recently serves as one half of The Swell Season, and has now released his debut solo album, Rhythm and Repose. Following Glen’s softly- rocking acoustic Take The Heartland featuring on the soundtrack to cult hit movie The Hunger Games, Rhythm and Repose delivers just what the title suggests. Remorse would not have been an astray addition to the title, the album being of long, aching vocal lines, soaring strings and picking guitar, Rhythm and Repose is wrapped in a beautiful melancholia – the kind of album that would be dangerous to hear following a recent break-up. First release Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting has a warm, lounge feel with a shuffling snare, soft keys and warm brass responses supporting Hansard’s almost-nasal crooning and open harmonies. Eventually dissolving into a slight wail Cat Stevens would have been proud of, this is one of the upbeat song of the entire album, save for the groove of Talking With The Wolves. A dramatically descending, dissonant piano introduction announces Philander, breaking up the hazy mood, however it feels a little out of place, gone as quickly as it began. Immediately slowly stepping harmonies and a lazy beat take over, building up to a huge swirling atmosphere of warm, vibrating strings. Characterised by Hansard’s trembling voice and gentle acoustic guitar embossed with organ-like keys (with the occasional appearance of a banjo) Rhythm and Respose is a great mood-maker, lethargic, raw and gentle all at the same time.

***1/2