Strict Joy [Deluxe Edition]

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
When Once hit theaters in 2007, Glen Hansard had already pursued international recognition for more than 15 years with the Frames. Although popular in Ireland, the singer's music wasn't nearly as omnipresent in other countries until the movie's release, which catapulted former Frames tunes like "Falling Slowly" into the spotlight. The Once soundtrack was also a big hit, turning Hansard's side project with simpatico songwriter Markéta Irglová into a full-fledged, award-winning, globetrotting band. While playing international venues and attending industry award shows, the two attracted additional attention for their real-life relationship, which effectively replaced Once's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
When Once hit theaters in 2007, Glen Hansard had already pursued international recognition for more than 15 years with the Frames. Although popular in Ireland, the singer's music wasn't nearly as omnipresent in other countries until the movie's release, which catapulted former Frames tunes like "Falling Slowly" into the spotlight. The Once soundtrack was also a big hit, turning Hansard's side project with simpatico songwriter Markéta Irglová into a full-fledged, award-winning, globetrotting band. While playing international venues and attending industry award shows, the two attracted additional attention for their real-life relationship, which effectively replaced Once's semi-tearful conclusion with a storybook ending. Released two years after the film's release, however, Strict Joy finds Hansard and Irglová going their separate ways, choosing to end their relationship while remaining in the same band. Hansard has used heartbreak for fuel in the past, and he keeps the blaze going throughout these 12 tracks. If the Once soundtrack was a bit spotty -- its track list culled from a haphazard array of old Frames songs, Van Morrison covers, collaborative material, and musicians' own tunes -- then Strict Joy shows what the Swell Season can do with a singular theme and a solid backing band, both of which contribute to the album's cohesion. Van Morrison's influence is still apparent, particularly in the '70s-styled soul of "Low Rising," but the singer/songwriter ambience that permeated Once's music doesn't carry as much weight here. Instead, Strict Joy devotes more concern to exploring the lush possibilities of Swell Season's sound, which now includes tasteful doses of strings, electric guitar, and overdubbed harmonies. The results are quite often gorgeous, with songs like "The Rain" and "Wild Horses" building up to expansive, cathartic climaxes over the course of several minutes. Also striking are the performances by Markéta Irglová, who turns her fragile voice -- an instrument that always seemed detrimentally self-conscious on previous albums -- into something alluring on "Fantasy Man" and "I Have Loved You Wrong." It's testament to the band's vision that they remain focused despite such improvements; no amount of cinematic orchestration can change the fact that these songs are, after all, inward-looking tunes about heartbreak and personal struggle, and their lyrics resonate regardless of their wrapping paper. As a result, Strict Joy is a joy from start to finish, as few bands manage to mix intimacy and sweeping songcraft with such finesse. [A three-disc Deluxe Edition was also released, featuring a live audio CD and accompanying concert DVD.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/27/2009
  • Label: Anti
  • UPC: 045778705221
  • Catalog Number: 87052
  • Sales rank: 7,174

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Low Rising (4:47)
  2. 2 Feeling the Pull (2:20)
  3. 3 In These Arms (3:33)
  4. 4 The Rain (3:40)
  5. 5 Fantasy Man (5:06)
  6. 6 Paper Cup (3:21)
  7. 7 High Horses (4:59)
  8. 8 The Verb (4:31)
  9. 9 I Have Loved You Wrong (5:04)
  10. 10 Love That Conquers (3:56)
  11. 11 Two Tongues (3:45)
  12. 12 Back Broke (4:02)
Disc 2
  1. 1 All the Way Down (4:06)
  2. 2 Lies (4:26)
  3. 3 This Low (5:32)
  4. 4 Drown Out (5:44)
  5. 5 When Your Mind's Made Up (3:32)
  6. 6 I Have Loved You Wrong (9:41)
  7. 7 Falling Slowly (5:39)
  8. 8 Leave (2:59)
  9. 9 What Happens When the Heart Just Stops (4:32)
  10. 10 Lay Me Down (3:26)
  11. 11 Once (4:30)
  12. 12 If You Want Me (5:19)
  13. 13 Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy (0:47)
  14. 14 Fitzcarraldo (6:12)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Bonus Material
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Swell Season Primary Artist
Clark Gayton Bass Trombone, Track Performer
Peter Katis Percussion, Track Performer, ARP
Steven Bernstein Trumpet, French Horn, Track Performer
Chris Lightcap Track Performer, Standup Bass
Thomas Bartlett Keyboards, Track Performer
Glen Hansard Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Graham Hopkins Percussion, Drums, Track Performer
Rob Bochnik Guitar, Mandolin, Track Performer
Colm Mac Con Iomaire Violin, Track Performer
Joseph Doyle Bass, Guitar, Track Performer
Markéta Irglová Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Javier Más Archlute, Track Performer, spanish guitar
Whitefish Bay 8th Grade Choir Track Performer
Chad Taylor Drums, Track Performer
Technical Credits
James Stephens Poetry
Greg Calbi Mastering
Clark Gayton Horn Arrangements
Peter Katis Producer
David Cleary Art Direction, Cover Design
Steven Bernstein Horn Arrangements
Glen Hansard Composer, Lyricist, Art Direction
Colm Mac Con Iomaire String Arrangements
Jelle Kuiper Engineer
Karl Odlum Engineer
Markéta Irglová Composer, Lyricist
James Fleischel Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Strict Joy is Strict Bliss

    They are more than just what you see in the film Once. These 2 are just amazing together. I will say so far as that Glen Hansard has surpassed what he can do with the Frames. He and Markéta Irglová are a match made in music heaven.

    I give it 5/5 for a reason, it is just that good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    ONCE More...With Feeling

    By now you have probably heard the Cinderella story that is Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard and Czech singer/songwriter Marketa Irglova's. Thanks to an indie film titled ONCE the couple shot into the stratosphere with an Oscar for "Falling Slowly,"received critical and commercial accolades, and sold out concerts worldwide. The two -billed as The Swell Season - return with the follow-up, STRICT JOY. A lot is riding on this disc. Happily it measures up to the duo's previous catalog. STRICT JOY is a pleasurable listen; coffeehouse acoustics with Hansard's and Irglova's ethereal vocals. The lyrics are the most intrical part of the album: Hansard and Irglova ended their romantic relationship while recording. "In These Arms," "Fantasy Man," and other tracks are obvious nods to the breakup. STRICT JOY also rocks more than the Swell Season's previous releases: "Low Rising" kicks off the album on a high note. All in all, JOY is one to behold. The deluxe version includes a CD and DVD recorded at a concert I attended here in Milwaukee. Pretty sweet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews