eMusic Review 0
When you're in love, finding songs to suit your mood comes easily — you can't go very far into popular music of any genre without coming across a love song. Songs for the process of falling in love, however, are a bit more difficult to come by. Only a gifted songwriter can capture the awkward passion, the uncertainty and the abject fear of a relationship that hasn't quite happened yet.
Glen Hansard and classically trained Czech vocalist and pianist Markéta Irglová stab nobly with The Swell Season, the 2006 collaboration they produced when former Frames bassist John Carney asked them to create songs for his film Once. Borrowing its concept from the 1975 Josef Skvorecký novel of the same name, the record ostensibly chronicles one man's pursuit of unattainable women against the backdrop of a dissolving Czechoslovakia. Instead, it plays more like a chronicle of a love that is currently under negotiation.
Much of the tension in The Swell Season comes from departures. Lovers flit into Hansard's lyrics and then leave, requiring him to either plead for their return — as he does on the chilling opener, “In the Arms of This Low” — or begrudge their absence. On “Leave,” he… read more »