The soundtrack of the movie Once is more than just a soundtrack made to fit a film. On its own, it is one of the most inspirational and true albums that I have ever had to the pleasure of hearing. All songs were written and sung by Glen Hansard of The Frames, and Markéta Irglová, a Czech Rebublican-born immigrant.
Both starred in the movie as well and have been dating for a few years. Hansard provides music on the guitar while Irglová accompanies him on the piano.
The album begins with “Falling Slowly”, a song that everyone could find easy to connect with and relate to. The lyrics are simple yet powerful, capturing the intense emotions of love and missing out by waiting too long to make a move, a typical ballad of every high school student. The harmonies of the two
singers are hauntingly beautiful but easy enough to sing along with, only adding to the simple complexity of this song.
The album then continues with “If You Want Me”, sung mostly by Markéta Irglová with a few interjections by Hansard. Her voice is sweet and compelling, filling her words with longing and desire. The chorus “if you
want me, satisfy me” neatly sums up the entire song, reminding us all of our own relationships, past or present, that have left something to be desired.
However, there is a song that seems completely meaningless unless the listener has previously seen the movie. “Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy” is sung by Hansard’s character in an attempt to explain what has led him to playing on the streets for money and working in his father’s old Hoover vacuum cleaner fixing shop. Comically amusing, even this song has it’s own deeper meanings.
The album continues on in much the same way as the first three songs. Some tracks are uplifting and others downright depressing. But, then again, so is
life, and therin lies the overall message. Rather than shy away from the real world, Hansard and Irglová paint us an image of life as it really is with all of it’s ups and downs, successes and failures, consequences and rewards. They don’t hide anything and they don’t try to sugar coat it.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this album is that it was written completely by the singers. The lyrics are genuine and the music tugs at your
heartstrings. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová have laid their souls bare in an attempt to better reach out to listeners.
It worked extraordinarily.