Drive All Night
Reviewed by: Stephen Krock
Just as the artist himself preaches in the a capella gospel track, it’s time for Glen Hansard to “Step Out of the Shadows.” In this follow up solo effort, the EP Drive All Night, Hansard continues to find the light outside of the considerable success of the 2006 film, Once, and the widely acclaimed Broadway musical based on it.
His talent for composition has not faltered. Nor has his willingness to play with others. He is joined by Eddie Vedder and Jake Clemons in the EP’s title track. Indeed, the cover of Springsteen’s “Drive All Night” is as epic as one should expect. In this daunting eight minutes, Hansard and co. pull you through a soulful, stone riddled path of strings and horns while his raw, graveled voice holds the reins, wailing out the powerful chorus. In the more dreamy and melancholic fare, the orchestrations are no less solid, but it’s the poetry of the lyrics that win the day there. In “Pennies in the Fountain,” Hansard coos of loving for the joy of love itself and throwing pennies into the aforementioned fountain only to wish for nothing. “Renata” is a heart strained ode to a woman that tows you around like a toy and tells you no.
The breadth of orchestration is great, but it does stay within the safety zone of what one would expect from the mind behind Once. However, that is hardly a drawback.