Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#652 in the Series) is the Original Soundtrack Recording from the film, Once
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, if you are looking for a movie to get you in the mood for corned beef and cabbage, instead of the old standby The Quiet Man, check out the Irish musical film “Once.” It produced a terrific soundtrack that more than stands on in its own.
It features musicians Glen Hansard, from Irish folk band The Frames, and Czech immigrant Marketa Irglová. You don’t have to see the movie to appreciate the soundtrack, but it only helps the appeal of these charming yet soulful songs that have pop rock roots. In the movie, he plays on the streets of Dublin late at night to an audience of one (Irglová) and belts outs with passion the final cut of the record, the very heartfelt,” Say It to Me Now.”
The first track on the record, “Falling Slowly” actually won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, but the whole album is filled with 11 other beautifully played and well-written songs that are both pretty and sad at the same time. Most of them are short, but make it a point to listen and it sounds like there could easily have been more singles.
This project spent years in development and only got the green light when the Irish Film Board was without a president and a lower level exec had the good sense that he had something worth sharing. There are some diverse sounds throughout, including a very Irish and catchy ballad called “Gold” to something that reminded me of New Zealand pop band The Chills (“Fallen from the Sky”). It is a pretty short work, but it was enough of a success that there was a follow up record when Hansard/Irglová took on the band name Swell Season.
They played a sold out show out at the spacious Chicago Theatre and even had one of their most famous fans in President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Whether you see the movie first or listen to the soundtrack, if you like it you will find yourself turning other people on to it. I saw someone the other day for the first time in years, and one of the first things he said was that he has introduced this to many people and everybody loved it. By the way, in the extras, Hansard talks about the title, which he says is a common excuse given by common Irish folk for not pursuing their dreams, as in, “I will finally make that album once I have enough money to rent a studio.” Hope you enjoy it, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
– John Driscoll, Chicago, Illinois, USA
All songs written and composed by Glen Hansard, except where noted.
No. Title Performer(s) Length
- “Falling Slowly” (Hansard, Irglová) Hansard and Irglová 4:04
- “If You Want Me” (Irglová) Irglová and Hansard 3:48
- “Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy” Hansard 0:53
- “When Your Mind’s Made Up” Hansard and Irglová 3:41
- “Lies” (Hansard, Irglová) Hansard and Irglová 3:59
- “Gold” (Fergus O’Farrell) Interference 3:59
- “The Hill” (Irglová) Irglová 4:35
- “Fallen from the Sky” Hansard 3:25
- “Leave” Hansard 2:46
- “Trying to Pull Myself Away” Hansard 3:36
- “All the Way Down” Hansard 2:39
- “Once” Hansard and Irglová 3:39
- “Say It to Me Now” Hansard 2:35
- “And the Healing Has Begun” (Van Morrison, Collector’s Edition only) Hansard 5:19
- “Into the Mystic” (Morrison, Collector’s Edition only) Hansard and Irglová 4:21
- Glen Hansard – Bass, Casio, Guitar, Vocals
- Markéta Irglová – Guitar, Piano, Vocals
- Rob Bochnik – Guitar, Slide Guitar
- Johnny Boyle – Drums, Percussion
- Joseph Doyle – Bass
- Bertrand Galen – Cello
- Graham Hopkins – Drums
- Colm McCauchey -Violin
- Kevin Murphy- Cello
- Fergus O’Farrell -Vocals
- James OLeary – Guitar
- Marcella Plunkett -Vocals
- Marja Tuhkanen – Viola, Violin
- Craig Ward – Keyboards