Like many, I first fell in love with Glen Hansard in the film Once. It took all of about thirty seconds of him singing for me to know that I’d made the right choice in seeing the film. His vocal on “Say It To Me Now” is one of my favorite performances of all-time. The heartbreak and anger in his voice is remarkable. He emotes like few can. I had never really listened to The Frames other than a couple of tracks here and there, and to this day I haven’t really given them a fair shake because I don’t feel like their material matches the power of the soundtrack to this movie. Coupled with Marketa Irglova, they created what is arguably the best movie soundtrack of the century so far. Following the film Hansard and Irglova continued to make music together and put out a couple records.
This is where things get a bit dicey for me. I understand that they were dating for a while, and it makes sense that their musical duo should continue since the music they made the first time was so good. The problem is, nothing on either of their follow-ups came even close to the quality of Once. It all felt a bit rushed and honestly I feel like they were happy just to be playing together regardless of the songs. That’s not to say it was all garbage. There are a couple songs on their self-titled debut and Strict Joy that I like, but it just doesn’t have the same feel. The two broke up romantically prior to Strict Joy‘s release. Irglova put out a record last year called Anar that I could barely make it through. I never officially reviewed it because that would mean I’d have to listen to it again. Now Hansard has made his first solo album, which drops next Tuesday.