sat 19/01/2019

CD: Fink - Hard Believer | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Fink - Hard Believer

CD: Fink - Hard Believer

Fink's latest is a mixed bag of the inspired and aerated

Hard to believe it's all on the same album

The danger of working successfully in many genres is that fans come to expect something revolutionary with each release. A secondary threat is that you succumb to generic schizophrenia, and thus are never quite sure which voice to speak with. Fin Greenall, founder/leader of the folk-blues trio Fink, has a touch of both of these in this latest release, in which songs of menacing Americana sit somewhat uneasily alongside pieces of lugubrious personal reflection. He may be feted for his eclecticism; he’s more likely to suffer for failing to please all his fans.  

The title track and “Pilgrim” are sublimely atmospheric, miniature tone poems of spare, suggestive lyrics, driving rhythm and tense guitar chords played with an increasingly open, raw sound. One of Greenall’s recent projects has included composing the 12 Years a Slave soundtrack with John Legend, and both songs share a cinematic scope and scale that would perfectly furnish, say, one of the Coen Brothers’ darker pictures. “White Flag” shares a similar grainy southern melancholy and dust-blown languor, without quite the same heart-pumping intensity.

After that, the songs become more personal and specific, sounding lyrically, if not musically, more like an English indie singer-songwriter. “Shakespeare”, about the singer’s relationship with Romeo and Juliet, contains quintessentially home-grown social observation, while the remaining four, from “Truth Begins” to “Keep Falling”, are personal explorations: interesting enough, but without the figurative, poetic heft of “Pilgrim”. The spare lyrics of “Too Late” and “Looking Too Closely” are vague and insipid, where those of “Hard Believer” and “Pilgrim” are terse and suggestive. Greenall’s taut, driving guitar style continues pleasantly, its momentum often suggesting the cinema, but the climaxes just aren’t there to build to. The best songs here paint their own pictures; the less focussed pieces need someone’s else's imagery to make them work.

Songs of menacing Americana sit somewhat uneasily alongside pieces of lugubrious personal reflection


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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