Damien Rice - 9 Crimes

Dan Round 15/12/2006

Rating: 4/5

9 Crimes is certainly not instant; with slow, mono-tone piano and background drumming drones, Damien Rice's at times haunting voice is joined yet again by Lisa Hannigan's melodic backing. Rice gives over whole segments of the song to his co-vocalist, increasing 9 Crime's sombre lure - a double viewpoint of a broken relationship, one which Rice and Hannigan commentate on with vivid detail, building the suspense in a similar way to Snow Patrol's recent atmospheric duet with Martha Wainwright.

No Cannonball, 9 Crimes is not a catchy radio song, but played in the darkening, damp and dull Winter months, this lovelorn ballad is moving and sensual with Rice's raspy vocal at its very best. B-side The Rat Within The Grain finds Rice in a different mood entirely. Completely solo (just his voice and acoustic guitar), it is an upbeat, twanging folk song finding a whole new setting for Rice's output.

It won't win over any pop fans as his first big hit did, but for the people who care for how good the music actually is, 9 Crimes is a more than satisfying comeback