There are plenty of songs and albums that capture a moment in time. A special memory. A favorite season. Or an important person.
But there are fewer examples of music that encapsulate what it means to be human. Music that is honest (sometimes brutally) and almost instantaneously empathetic. Glen Hansard’s, Rhythm and Repose, evokes that level of honesty. And makes a true human connection.
Glen sings to your soul on every track, finding a way to reach the listener with an eloquent lyric, a heart wrenching bellow or a powerful strumming pattern. Hansard covers familiar topics like love and hope, but he doesn’t stop at the surface of the matter. He plays the role of a sage traveler, offering lessons from his many life experiences. His songs are stories of situations to avoid, mindsets to shake and philosophies to adopt in order to not only become a better person, but to bring out the good in others as well.
Glen Hansard’s “Philander”
The album ranges from ethereal to intense. Songs like “What Are We Gonna Do” and “The Storm, It’s Coming” have loud and clear messages, but they’re delivered softly with an atmospheric sound. While “You Will Become” and “Philander” feature a palpable angst and undeniable power. The kind of emotion that reveals his passion for music and energizes crowds at his live performances.
And then there’s the influence of hope. “High Hope” and “Song of Good Hope” standout like beacons of positivity and love. They represent how no matter how far you fall, it’s never far enough to keep you down. A reminder that everyone needs now and again.
“Take your time, babe. It’s not as bad as it seems. You’ll be fine, babe. It’s just some rivers and streams in between you and where you want to be. Watch the signs now. You’ll know what they mean. You’ll be fine now. Just stay close to me and may good hope walk with you through everything.” – Song of Good Hope
The Academy Award-winning artist called on some equally talented musicians to support him on the album. Hansard invited accomplished multi-instrumentalist Clark Gayton to play horns on a few tracks. He also asked long-time friend, musical partner and Once co-star, Marketa Irglova, to add her beautiful voice to the mix. Marketa is always a graceful addition to Hansard’s songs, as well as an undoubted source of inspiration behind the music.
Rhythm and Repose maintains a strong spirit with a classic Glen Hansard sound, which is strengthened by themes that are easy to relate to. Hansard sings words of wisdom to the listener, but more than likely, he’s also speaking to himself. And why not? It’s important to remind ourselves that even in the darkest of times, there’s hope for happiness. We just have enjoy the journey and push forward.
“A good, good heart will always find love.” – What Are We Gonna Do
Listen to this album and let it give you the courage to change for the better. Or let it enliven a passion in something or someone like never before.
Written by Ryan Engelbert
OurVinyl | Contributor