Damien “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” Rice. Remember him? You probably had gonad liaisons to The Blower’s Daughter in 2002, so we’re going to presume that you do.
Rice has been off the radar – and virtually off the grid in Iceland – for eight years, so getting reacquainted with the Irish singer-songwriter feels like a long-forgotten school friend popping up on our Facebook timeline to announce their engagement / pregnancy / album release. Teaming up with production-powerhouse Rick Rubin, Marketa Irglova and Alex Somers (folk artists, folks), My Favourite Faded Fantasy doesn’t swerve too far from whence he came: Rice’s familiar, pensive croon, backed by acoustic guitars, that give way to soaring orchestral crescendos.
Rice’s falsetto is as fine as filament on the mournful title track, with orchestral crescendos of course. It takes a lot of time to get through It Takes A Lot To Know A Man… nine and a half long, albeit enjoyable minutes. The index fingers of a thousand single ladies swipe right on I Don’t Want To Change You and Colour Me In (jury’s still out for us though).
The Box has got you covered if you find yourself recently single, or just in need of some good ol’ self-inflicted misery. Which is a similar result after prolonged exposure to this album. Rice’s reemergence is a delicate and introspective offering, but after the promise of solid opening tracks, the fantasy soon fades for us.