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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Damien Rice
9
Heffa Ltd.

Rating: 8/10 ?


January 22, 2007
Next time you listen to Damien Rice, try to refrain from leaving your spouse or live-in-friend in the dead of night as they sleep soundly next to you, none-the-wiser that you are gone for good and taking the dog.

This nonsensical request is based of course on the assumption that betrayal from your significant other is inevitable, and such is the thinking on Rice's poisonous 9, an album to which listening compares to watching The Break-up or The Last Kiss. But as Rice's mellow surrounds you and chatters in your ear with directives to stay emotionally detached, leave them - after all they'll do it to you soon enough - or kill that damn dog that reminding you of them, maybe you shouldn't be such a nut job, succumbing to the jealousy and everything else that winds up killing all relationships, just because a soft little piano number got you thinking.

Rice's lyrics, almost hummed, take shape throughout 9 as mysterious and thought provoking. His overshadowed catchy plucking turns up-beat through the core of the album and taps into every emotion listed in a psychology textbook, without exaggeration. All together, 9 is an album begging you to rehash not only the good, the bad, or the ugly moments of a tiring relationship, but the sweet and sour times as well.

True to form, the Ireland native's lyrics are multi-dimensional, and at any point after listening to 9 you could possibly make-up with a lover, break-up with a lover, punch an old lady, or go buy a kitten to cuddle with. Wherever you want to go, 9 will take you, especially if you're headed there already. The sky is wide open and Rice abstains from overtly stating what the songs are about because, as he puts it, that "feels like you're putting it in a box... guiding people down a certain path."

Track three, "Elephant," is extremely reminiscent of "The Blower's Daughter" and throws out the same line about forgetting the breeze to seal the comparative deal. And what begins as another soft, sappy Rice album turns into a heavy, despondent and angry work as the chorus on "Rootless Tree" screams "Fuck you fuck you fuck you/ and all we've been through/ I said leave it leave it leave it/ its nothing to you/ and if you hate me hate me hate me/ then hate me so good that you can let me out." The power of the track, along with "Me, My Yoke and I" fuels the album beyond belief and hushes anyone with questions to understand what 9 really means.

The tracks comprising 9 aren't new songs, but songs from a few years back. Old or new, it doesn't matter. Whatever Rice sings he sings whole-heartedly, and the finished product is a bit of truth and a bit of an I-don't-give-a-shit mentality that anyone can learn from. "It wasn't a record of the moment," says Rice. "It was a record of a mood."

Reviewed by Josh Mabray
A freelance writer and journalist from McAlester, Oklahoma, Josh Mabray is a contributing writer covering music and film for LAS.

See other reviews by Josh Mabray

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