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Album Review: Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy

There’s a thread of tiredness that weaves through Damien Rice’s latest album and ties its eight tracks together. What My Favorite Faded Fantasy provides in consistency, it loses in its unoriginality: Each song is nearly identical to the others. The themes and the way Rice sings about them—“I love this girl, she doesn’t love me, it hurts, oh well”—is too much of a mirror to his previous efforts in 9 and O.

However, the album does have its highlights. “My Favourite Faded Fantasy,” the record’s opener, is a strong song. Detailed arrangement of the harmony accompanies Rice’s delicate vocals, “You could be my favourite taste/ To touch my tongue/ I know someone who could serve me love/ But it wouldn’t fill me up.”

“The Greatest Bastard,” despite featuring the signature weariness expected, is a strong track that begins with Rice’s breathless murmuring over simple chords, and grows as layers of soaring harmony are added, eventually reaching a cathartic crescendo.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album feels like swimming in warm water until your fingers are pruned and your hair is dry from the salt that he’s cried over whatever new girl has left him.

Given the album’s titular nod to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, its seemingly minimal contribution by producer Rick Rubin, and its overall boring subdued moodiness, all I wanted was to turn Rice off and listen to “Runaway” instead.

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