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Damien Rice, ‘9’ (Heffa/Vector/Warner)

Introspection and noise are infrequent bedfellows, but they get fully tangled up in the work of singer/songwriter Damien Rice. Following his lauded 2003 debut O (winner of the Shortlist Prize), Rice seeks 24/7 momentousness here — “9 Crimes,” a ravishing duet with Lisa Hannigan, is so emotionally composed and agonizingly high-end that Mike Nichols probably wishes he’d had it for the soundtrack to Closer. Elsewhere, the album continues to interweave these sweaty back-and-forths, with the equally hot “Elephant” sustaining majestic Sigur Rós-esque drifts, while on “Rootless Tree,” a bright chorus of “Fuck you” breaks out amid all the flutter and distortion.

Now Hear This:Damien Rice – “Rootless Tree” QUICKTIME Damien Rice – “9 Crimes” QUICKTIME

>> Listen to Damien Rice on Napster