Delicate - Damien Rice (2002)
This was the way many of us first heard Damien Rice. I remember sitting in the theatre, watching Closer, completely floored by the opening credit song. This hadn't happened to me since hearing Brian Eno's "Needle In The Camel's Eye" at the the beginning of Velvet Goldmine. I immediately sought out this man's work, purchasing his debut album O. It backed up "The Blower's Daughter" 's promise with a vengeance. This work was mature beyond the young Irishman's years, a towering Nick Drake-like addition to the singer-songwriting movement. Has Damien followed through with this level of skill? Not exactly. While I have enjoyed his recent works, it is going to be quite a feat to top his masterful beginning. He probably won't ever match the grunge aesthetic-tinged ballad artistry that is "Delicate". That's ok, because few songs ever will, regardless of whose pen and guitar they pour out of.