Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of.
Week of 12/13/2013
WHO: Glen Hansard
WHAT: Drive All Night
It's tough to deny that the headlining track on songwriter Glen Hansard's EP Drive All Night is the title track. First of all, it's eight minutes of music that at no point starts to get old. Second of all (and directly related to our first point), it's a cover from Bruce Springsteen's 1980 LP The River. Third of all, this Springsteen cover features Jake Clemons, current saxophonist for the E Street Band (and nephew of original player Clarence Clemons). Interestingly, the presence of Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder on the track is the least enthralling detail (although still plenty interesting).
Make sure to give some time to Hansard's original tracks as well, as arresting as the Boss cover might be. Second track "Pennies in The Fountain" is a low-key yet hopeful track in the same vein as Hansard's Oscar-winning composition "Falling Slowly." Speaking of which, the songwriter's Once costar and Swell Season companion Markéta Irglová joins Hansard for "Renata."
Fans of Hansard's previous work, including the slept-on 2012 LP Rhythm and Repose won't be surprised by the content on Drive All Night, but they won't be disappointed either.