Soulja boy has nothing on this wayward soul
From rock band The Frames to Indie folk The Swell Season, Glen Hansard has showed his versatility. He not only wrote music for and starred in the movie “Once,” which eventually became a Broadway play that won eight Tony Awards and toured worldwide, he has an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Tony. Now, he’s back as a solo artist in “Didn’t He Ramble,” the perfect combination of both rock and indie with a janglin’ vibe.
In his 25 year singing career, Hansard has always the heartbroken man we hear in “Low Rising” or “When Your Mind’s Made Up.” But “Didn’t He Ramble” delivers the spirit of perseverance and good-will.
The album “Didn’t He Ramble” starts off with “Grace Beneath the Pines,” a song about pushing through when life gets hard. This song is all about finding light in the darkest of places and shows his soulful essence. Hansard’s brass section is really involved in this album and especially this song, bringing it to life. Hansard’s piano playing creates that warm and gushy feeling you get when watching a Disney movie.
“My Little Ruin” is about a close friend that cannot make it in the music world. This song is a melody that offers hope and inspiration for a man, who shall not be named, to keep to working and sing himself “a different song.” Though, we would never want Hansard to sing a different song because this is one of the best songs on the album. “My Little Ruin” starts light and slowly builds until Hansard is singing with all his heart, mind, body, and soul.
“Winning Streak” has got more attention than any other song on this album. It’s something that would be heard at a graduation ceremony. The opening lines give encouragement to the listener, no matter what their situation; “Through summers long and winters cold / May you always have someone good to hold / And may good fortune wait on every bend / And may your winning streak / May it never end.”
“Her Mercy” shows signs of Hansard slowly letting go of past loves lost. At former shows, “Her Mercy” was played but never fully finished. Now the star of his concerts, “Her Mercy” is a beautiful combination of Hansard’s raspy voice and his amazing drummer, Graham Hopkins’, unique way of playing the drums. The song features a full orchestra, a gospel choir and a brilliant brass section; Hansard does it again and makes “Her Mercy” one of his greatest hits.
With quality lyrics and talented musicians, “Didn’t He Ramble” gives hope this seemingly dead music world that we live in today. Hansard is not losing talent as he grays; 25 years after he started, his music only seems to get better with time, like a fine wine. Through true passion for music, Hansard took his ramblings, beautiful soul, and lost loves and turned them into something wonderful for all to hear.