Thursday, April 22, 2010

Case File #35: "Rootless Tree"

Damien Rice
"Rootless Tree"

The need to know: In the 90s, Damien Rice fronted the Irish rock band Juniper, but after becoming disillusioned with the music industry and disgruntled with the direction of the band, he quit and headed to Tuscany to farm, amongst other European travels. But eventually the music bug returned and Rice soon emerged as one of Ireland's premier singer/songwriters. His solo debut, O, beat out albums by Bright Eyes, Cat Power, Interpol, SIgur Ros and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to take home the 2003 Shortlist Music Prize. The less-acclaimed 9 followed in 2006. 

Why it's worthy: "Rootless Tree" may begin as a typical Damien Rice ballad, but by the time the chorus kicks in, it's anything but. The shock value of hearing the typically reserved  Rice let loose into a chorus of angry Fuck Yous is only part of the appeal, however. One hell of a breakup song, "Rootless Tree" conveys the need to get the hell out of a trapping relationship while still asking for permission to leave. Because, sometimes, even when it's over, it's not really over.

Quotable lyric: "And if you hate me/ Then hate me so good that you can let me out"

Where you've heard it: Rice's songs have been used in numerous films and TV shows, most notably his song "The Blower's Daughter" was used in the 2004 film Closer

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