Craig Finn - Faith In The Future - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Craig Finn - Faith In The Future

by Jim Harris Rating:8 Release Date:2015-09-11

Craig Finn is one of alt-rocks finest poet laureates, crafting those third-person narratives, Americana wrapped in poppy, anthemic rock 'n' roll like no other. He cites his influences as Bruce Springsteen and Paul Westerberg, but Springsteen was more appropriate in his earlier band, The Hold Steady, and I don’t see any of the innocence or garage leanings of Paul Westerberg’s approach in Mr Finn. 

Finn’s landscapes are about the rooftop of an apartment in New York during 9/11 (‘Newmyer's Roof’) and the anxiety of a girl named Sarah calling from a hotel room. It’s the nuanced snippets of reality Craig Finn shoots for, all wrapped in fairly polished, straight-up rock 'n' roll.

Hold Steady, the band Craig Finn left to go solo from, never musically grabbed me.  The music seemed at odds with the poetry or something, but his first solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, hit the mark of his vision perfectly.  Through songs like ‘Jackson’ and ‘No future’ his first solo album burned with a musical intensity that matched the lyrics.

It appears as if a more up-tempo, anthemic rock and roll has returned a bit in ‘Faith in the Future’ as the opening rocker, ‘Maggie I’ve Been Searching For Our Son’ establishes.  Faith in the Future is a solid album musically, with odd structures as in the track, ‘Roman Guitars’ and mood-altering reverb is peppered throughout, but good solid rock and roll is the driver in most of these tracks.

Still, Craig Finn is a poet and the showcase of his solo albums is the lyrical content.  I often can’t decide if he is making fun of religion or celebrating it, and this ambiguity is good, and sometimes the irreverence of the topic (Listen to the quietly brilliant ‘Christine’) catch me offguard in a good way.

I can’t say the music matches the lyrical brilliance as well as my favorite poet laureates like Zevon and Dylan, and he is a far cry from Tom Waits with the apocalyptic one-liners and weird musical explorations,  but when it’s all said and done, his musical landscapes and the minutia Craig Finn captures in his observations will keep drawing you back.  His best album is ahead of him though, when he finds the right musical execution to showcase his poetry.

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