Sunday, 29 September 2019

MUSIC REVIEW: Craig Finn: Something To Hope For

Craig Finn is a singer-songwriter and musician from Minnesota, USA. He is also the front man of Indie rock band The Hold Steady which is what he is probably most well known for. However, he has a very successful solo career and has released four albums since 2012. His latest album was released back in April this year titled "I Need A New War" and the second single release is "Something To Hope For”.

Finn is most notable for his third-person lyrical style, wherein he frequently makes reference to partying, religion and drugs. Despite his talk of hangovers being a full part of the experience and not just the "celebration and confetti", he maintains this isn't about personal experience or confession. It is purely him observing the world.

"Something To Hope For" is a typical solo melody from Finn, which is in stark contrast to the work he does with The Hold Steady – his solo work has long been a contrast to his other work. The track covers the rather strange subject of an insurance payment after an accident at work - but Finn manages to tell the story so well. It is about a ray of light in a dark time for the character in the song - a very familiar theme for Finn and told through a very well-constructed melody that invites you to listen to the lyrics without being distracted. The music is there to help tell the story, not to take over.

Finn is a solo performer who has developed his own style. Sure he is clearly influenced by Springsteen, particular in his early work, but as time has moved so has he. His ability for storytelling in his songs is the real hook for his audience - it is hard to think of an alternative who is better at this than Finn.

"Something to Hope For" is typical of the music you will find on Finn's latest album and you can only imagine he will continue to produce quality output for years to come. It is a little sad that he hasn’t had the big success in the UK but he continues to visit and his audience grows slowly each time he tours.

Reviewer - John Fish
on - 29/9/19

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