Josie Javens − Staff Writer
Rating: 3.5 stars
Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard‘s first solo album “Rhythm and Repose” is a beautiful, achingly beautiful, collection of melancholic songs punctuated by moments of hope.
For me, the most unforgettable feature of the album is its poignant emotion. The best word I can think of to describe this album is affecting. The album affects me. I found myself not necessarily enjoying all the songs, but nevertheless I still felt deeply affected by the emotion of this album. I think it’s an honest, vulnerable expression.
The first track “You Will Become” is a brooding song. It’s beautiful but tense, and it is the best representative of the tragic, melancholic mood of the entire album. If all the songs on the album sounded like this one, it would be melancholy overkill. But Hansard does incorporate some hopeful tracks with more upbeat rhythms and warmer tones that provide some relief from the heavy emotion of this album, although the melancholic tone of the album is felt throughout every song. The second track “Maybe Not Tonight” is an example of this relief. It is a hopeful song with a slight country–western flavor created by the slide guitar twang. The country–western flavor reappears a bit in the fourth track, “High Hope.”
My favorite tracks: “You Will Become,” “Maybe Not Tonight,” “Don’t Leave Me Waiting,” “What are We Gonna Do.”
The album could be definitely called depressing. But I can forgive him for that because it’s musically solid, incorporates good variety, and it affects me. Some might be off-put by the intense melancholy of the album, but some of the lighter songs definitely balance this.