ALBUM REVIEW: “Rhythm and Repose” by Glen Hansard

June 19. 2012 | By Jon Patton

Glen Hansard
Rhythm and Repose

On Rhythm and Repose, Glen Hansard takes acoustic folksy material and space pop and tosses them together in what at first seems like a haphazard way. But the abrupt genre and instrumentation shifts in simple song structures force you to pay attention to the lyrics — this is a catalogue of ways to end a relationship. And though that’s hardly new ground for a songwriter, Hansard’s blessed with more than his fair share of authenticity.

The change from “You Will Become,” with a brooding and simple guitar line surrounded by ethereal violins, and “Maybe Not Tonight,” a classic country song, to “Talking With the Wolves,” with its looped drums and a fuzzed out guitar, is abrupt, and the surprises don’t end there. Hansard switches to soul for the gorgeous “High Hope,” and really blows out his voice on the last chorus. The vocal intensity just builds from there. A quick succession of songs has Hansard making peace with his inner shouter, and when “Philander” rolls around, he sounds completely spent.

He picks himself up off the ground for “Song Of Good Hope” to end. Hitting the repeat button at this point isn’t just because you want to hear the songs again. You want to spend another hour with Hansard and get to know him better.

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