Once

By: Dennis Cook

Some things bowl us over with the power of their simplicity. Think of the first bite of a perfectly ripe piece of chilled melon or the bitter hello of well-brewed coffee. Think of the way your lips tingle after a sweet kiss you weren't expecting or a quiet break in a hectic day that arrives precisely when you need it most. These sorts of purely wonderful pleasures form the undercurrent of this charming soundtrack assembled by The Frames' leader Glen Hansard.

Once (Canvasback/Columbia/Sony) shimmers with the craftsmanship of Bread's David Gates, Jerome Kern and Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdock. Hansard co-stars with real life coconspirator Czech singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová as a pair of emerging tunesmiths whose talents blossom alongside their uneasy romance. There's the air of old Hollywood musicals melded with the quivering introspection of contemporary folksy indie rock. In another era, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy would sing these tunes. Instead, we have a modern answer to Neil Young and Nicolette Larson crooning:

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now

Five of the tracks here originally appeared on Hansard and Irglová's 2006 joint release, The Swell Season, and the rest were written specifically for this critically lauded, hyper low budget indie film. The sincere, direct lyrics recall Broadway, where songs move the plot forward and take us inside a character's heads, offering perspectives that'd ring false in straight dialogue but penetrate us in rhymed, melodic verse. Taken beyond the camera's frame, these selections have a heartfelt honesty that's pretty disarming. The pains and lofty highs of love are puzzled over so plainly it's easy to accept their feelings, be they dark or light, as true.

The music ranges from the skeletally basic (Hansard alone with an acoustic guitar) to a deftly grand mini-symphony of piano, cello, guitar and subdued percussion. The notes echo the rise and fall of lover's breasts with all the requisite sighs and screams, strong emotions left intact.

Irglová and Hansard embark on a seven city U.S. tour starting July 24 at the Blender Theater At Gramercy in New York City and ending at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco on August 4th. If they retain the delicacy and unvarnished beauty of the Once soundtrack these will be very special shows.

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Comments

durazno Wed 7/18/2007 04:32PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

durazno

that cd cover SCREAMS wanna be dylan...

Shineonsyd24 starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/18/2007 06:14PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Shineonsyd24

If you haven't checked this film out....do yourself a favor....and hes actually more of a folky spawn of Thom Yorke than Dylan....great review!!

jimithescumbag starstarstarstar Fri 7/20/2007 06:46AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

It's a good movie...dude kinda looks like Dr. House.

valerieflames starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/26/2007 11:43PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The Frames' Glen Hansard is currently on tour with co-star Marketa Irglova as The Swell Season, playing songs from the soundtrack to their new movie "ONCE"! These guys put on an amazing show, be sure to check them out!

www.myspace.com/theswellseason

July
27 Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore at the TLA
28 Chicago, IL - Chicago Old Town School Of Folk Music

August
1 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
4 San Francisco, CA - Noe Valley Ministry

[url=www.myspace.com/theswellseason] IMG]http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/sandpaperhearts/l_1dc1e3033d1388543c1ea0bb6ea6a5be.jpg[/IMG] [/url]