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Anar by Marketa Irglova
Released: Oct 2011
Label: Anti/Epitaph
She was Glen Hansard's feisty love interest in the irresistibly charming Once (and, for a brief time, in real life), but now Oscar-winner Marketa Irglova is a married woman and looking to get out from under Hansard's shadow. Her solo debut showcases her pianist chops, almost to a fault; her fragile vocals can sometimes get lost in the flood of rolling piano. And while she still often plays the hesitant siren -- "Am I really in love?" she asks on "Crossroads" -- she starts to come into her own when the rhythm picks up just a tad, as on "Go Back" and "Dokhtar Goochani."
Stephanie Benson