By Damien Rice
The third album from Irish songster Damien Rice is a 2003 recording of an intimate gig at the Union Chapel in London. Collaborator Lisa Hannigan features prominently on the album and as Hannigan now has her own solo career it should be billed as a Damien and Lisa record.
This is pre '9' days and it seems an unusual idea to release such an old recording and given that it is coming out for the Christmas market you could complain that there is an element of cashing in.
Fans of Rice's first album 'O' will not be disappointed by the versions of the big hits, The Blowers Daughter and Volcano but neither will they be surprised as the live versions are very similar to the studio version.
The album comes to life with Hannigan's cover of the Nina Simone's, 'Be My Husband'. All bongos and longing.
And you can't help but admire Rice's ability to capture the hurt of pain and convey it in song. He convinces you that his songs of heartache are true and he makes you feel that you might be able to help him.
This is a good album but recordings of Rice's recently applauded live shows would have made for a more up to date and better Christmas present.