The Frames' Glen Hansard releases Rhythm & Repose, his first solo album, having created an unusual juggernaut with Once. The indie movie was a box-office success and won an Oscar for Best Original Song with the hit "Falling Slowly." The musical, currently playing on Broadway, won eight Tony awards. This was all mostly due to Hansard's achingly romantic songwriting and his emotional performing style. He is a raw nerve, quivering to the frequency of love's last chance. And of course, in Once he has a compelling love story, one mirrored by his troubled romance with his Swell Season partner, Marketa Irglova. Hansard gave himself a hard act to follow, but he pulls it off with Repose. He doesn't shun the sound that made the Once soundtrack a hit, but he does expand his palette and show off the breadth of his songwriting prowess. He sounds like the guy from Once ("High Hope," "Bird of Sorrow"), but also evokes dreamy '70s McCartney ("Maybe Not Tonight") and Van Morrison ("Love Don't Leave Me Waiting"). Lyrically, many of these songs sound like the emotional aftermath of Once, especially "What Are We Gonna Do," a ballad about fading love and enduring friendship sung as a duet with Irglova, who appears on two tracks. Hansard has a talent for stripping a song down to its resonant core.
GLEN HANSARD | Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave, Boston | September 18 @ 8 pm | All Ages | $35 | 617.747.2261