Album/Film of the week…

I was reintroduced to the soundtrack of Once recently by The Boy.  I had seen the film back in October in a hotel on a business trip.  It was one of those random choices…many films to choose from and I chose it without thinking much about the choices…it was just something to do on a rainy, late night in DC.  Little did I know how I would be touched by this film.

At first glance you expect it will be another one of those tired ‘boy meets girl’ films but it quickly develops into something moving and tangible.  The music quietly drives much more of the story than you realize on first watching it.  The music is simple but with such raw emotion that it makes you both elated and heartbroken at the same time.  The film doesn’t drop its emotions on the characters’ sleeves – it trusts you enough to leave some of the best stuff unstated. In other words, it trusts you to know that half the music lies between the notes.

Stand out songs from the album that you should seriously consider downloading:

Falling Slowly – A sweet ballad with simple harmonies.  It really showcases Glen Hansard’s vocal range and how easily his voice can manage to melt your heart.  This is the best known track from the film as they won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

If You Want Me – This is one of two songs featuring Marketa Irglova.  Her voice is simple and true.  The banjo playing really reminds me of Travis‘ ‘Sing’ on the chorus of the song.  A long distance love song.

Leave – Glen Hansard defines my bitter reality in this song.  It’s very David Ford-esque with just a guitar, vocals and emotion.  His repeating the lyrics, “Leave, leave, Let go of my hand, You said what you have to now Leave” at the end of the song can only be described as raw, honest pure angst.  I can only describe it as wanting to jump up and down and scream and yell and yearning to get out of your skin joy/pain.  That may not sound appealing, but I think you’ll see what I mean when you hear it.  It ends too abrubtly for me though…it’s such a great song but it needs some sort of refrain at the end for it to be perfect.

When Your Mind’s Made Up – Something about this reminds me of Badly Dawn Boy but I’m probably the only one who hears it.  This is a great scene in the film where they’re recording in a studio and the engineer is ignoring them and realizes how good they are and starts actually doing his job.  This song has a brilliant crescendo of vocals and instruments.  It really features the instrumental talents of all the players as well as the singing.

To be honest I could sing the praises of all the songs from this film.  Even the silly Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy makes you smile.  This album is a story even without the film…you can paint the songs in your head quite easily and adapt it to the realities that so many of us face each day. It’s real.  It’s true with no pretense.  I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think.

3 thoughts on “Album/Film of the week…

  1. After listening to the soundtrack at least 50 times, I have embraced “The Hill” as my current favorite though you are correct in saying that the film includes many great songs.

    I hope that “The Hill” is made regular fare at U.S. concerts since the song is not finished during the film and many are not acquainted with it. (You will recall that The Girl” broke down while she was singing it).

    I am looking forward to seeing The Swell Season in person at Columbus in the next two weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.