Glen Hansard is a cute Irish man who conquered the world by singing the Academy award winning song Falling Slowly. The movie Once has become a classic and it also got its theater version. This musician, gifted with suggestive emotional vocal, did not have the intention to settle down with the gold statue he won at the beginning at his career, so he recorded a brilliant album with his companion Marketa Irglova called The Swell Season. After singing back vocals at Eddie Vedder’s tour promoting Ukulele Songs, Glen had decided to try swimming in the waters of solo career. The result was the album Rhytm And Repose, the product of a mature singer songwriter who knows what he wants to create.
Didn’t He Ramble, his latest effort, has the similar story. Looking from a musical perspective, this is a very colorful album. There is everything from Irish melos and violins in McCormack’s Wall, to bossa nova rhythm in Just Be The One and Springsteen-driven Lowly Deserter.
One of the songs that stands out on this compilation of various styles is melodically enchanting Winning Streak. Positive energy swells from every tone. Even though some cynics may analyze it as a cheesy Disney cartoon soundtrack, I heard it as author’s motivational message sent to his loved ones and everyone who fights with the strange phenomenon called life.
My favorite track from the album is My Little Ruin, magnificently arranged piece of music that starts with self-suppressed guitar play and ends up with Glen releasing his full voice. It is the most powerful weapon that he has.
Despite the album’s divergent style, it comes across as a well-thought and contextualized opus of a vulnerable and kind artist. Stay The Road is the closing track that proves my observation. Come on, pilgrim, won’t you stay the road?, Glen asks in the last song. Didn’t He Ramble is focused on finding that individual life path. Glen recommends you to stay on that road. I say: If you burn all the trees, you don’t have to choose one of two paths.