• Record Label:
  • Release Date:
This Wild Willing Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The fourth full-length solo studio release for the The Swell Season singer was recorded in Paris with contributions from such artists as Deasy, Joe Doyle, Marketa Irglova, the Khoshravesh brothers, Dunk Murphy, and ROMY.
Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Apr 17, 2019
    A standalone masterpiece. It’s the kind of album capable of captivating a new audience; an evolution from traditional Irish troubadour folk that is both dark and masterful.
  2. Apr 12, 2019
    These songs don't sound forced or half-baked, they often beg for the repeat button to be tapped. Melodically, he's never been more engaging or accomplished, because he opts for experimentation from the musicians around him, which include Irglová, rather than revert to the habit of strumming his acoustic guitar into oblivion when the energy fizzles.
  3. Apr 12, 2019
    Glen Hansard has long been a gifted and effective vocalist and songwriter, but on This Wild Willing, he reveals a greater vision and intelligence in using the studio to give his music life, and it's an unusually strong offering from him.
  4. Apr 12, 2019
    The further away Hansard gets from his roots, the closer he is to home.
  5. Q Magazine
    May 14, 2019
    A true leap forward for an artist maybe only just coming into his own after 25 years. [Jul 2019, p.110]
  6. Uncut
    Apr 25, 2019
    Hansard's whispery growl is something of an acquired taste, and the first half of this LP sees him aiming towards Nick Cave-style slow burning epics. ... More successful is the second half of the album. [Jun 2019, p.29]
  7. 42
    The Khoshravesh brothers’ Iranian sound spices things up on a few tracks, but not enough to prompt multiple listens. Hansard’s passion seems to be lacking in the way he sings on most tracks, and that ends up being a letdown. Perhaps the experience of making the album was much more magical than the music that resulted from it.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 13, 2019
    I'm a massive fan of Glen Hansard's work since the mid 90's. I've seen him play live in different guises close to 50 times. I feel thisI'm a massive fan of Glen Hansard's work since the mid 90's. I've seen him play live in different guises close to 50 times. I feel this qualifies me in saying that "This Wild Willing" is his most interesting and ambitious, if not necessarily his strongest, work since 2001's Frames masterpiece "For The Birds". To focus first on the positives, unlike his pretty safe solo material up to now, the songs on this album feel rich in scope and texture. You can get lost in this album. There is an actual atmosphere to this record. From what I hae heard and read, it was a highly collaborative effort with other musicians and the approach pays dividends. Vocally, Hansard is ominously whispering for most of the album, pulling the listener closer and forcing them to concentrate on what they are hearing. For most of his career Hansard has dealt in excellently crafted but straightforward songs that followed a formula. There were exceptions but not many. On "This Wild Willing" many of the songs head off the paths and grow into pieces of music. On the flip side, at 65 minutes long it could definitely have been trimmed a bit and can veer into self indulgence. Some of the songs are the best he's written in years but with 12 of them on here, he's asking too much of the raw material at times, despite the effort put in. Everyone involved has done a great job in putting this together and I can say for sure its the Glen Hansard record I've listened to most since 2004's "Burn the Maps". Expand