Glen Hansard – It Was Triumph We Once Proposed… Songs of Jason Molina
Not sure how this crept under the radar. Perhaps it was a chronic case of glenhansardaphobia. Never quite clicked before. But this is special. Five songs by the late, great Jason Molina covered by the ever-bearded Oscar-winning one. ‘Farewell Transmission’ and ‘Hold On Magnolia’ are full on Songs: Ohia, The Magnolia Electric Co, classics. How can they be covered? It’s an abomination. A violation. But, hold on (magnolia). They generate more than a grudging acceptance. In fact, they create a real liking. But that’s not all. There’s a cover of ‘Being In Love’ from Lioness. Oh come on. Lioness? Seriously? But, wait. This version of ‘Being In Love’ has been fully Magnolia Electric Co’d. It could be an outtake from the album of albums. No higher praise. And so too for ‘Vanquisher’ from Songs: Ohia (The Black Album). Now this is good. Really good. But oh my goodness. Glen Hansard? That Glen Hansard? Yet Glen Hansard has real, bona fide Jason Molina history. They toured. They even put out a split 7” in 2000. And therein perhaps lies the real beauty of this all-too-short collection. These aren’t fan versions. There’s a knowingness. A connectedness. Here, like all great cover albums, we hear the artist transformed. Nothing takes away from the original versions, but something special is added. And in this case we get double the money. Because not only is Jason Molina transformed. So, too, is Glen Hansard. Time for a reevaluation.