Liam Finn – FOMO (Transgressive)

July 26, 2011 by  

With ‘Fomo’ (Fear of Missing Out), Liam Finn can take another foot out of the shadow of his famous name. It has been a long time since he made his debut playing intimate gigs by his father Neil Finn’s side, and now with his second studio album behind him he is a stand out talent.

His debut was adequate if over long, only really coming into its own during his live renditions (Finn used live looping to create a one man band). Would he learn from the mistakes of ‘I’ll be Lightning ‘and create a more rounded release? Well ,yes! Not only is this an excellent album, and surprisingly one of the best of 2011, it’s equal to anything his famous namesakes have released in over 15 years! Someone needs to clone some Finn DNA. No not you Simon Cowell!

‘FOMO’ starts with the sound of Liam pushing his way out of a dream, clouded in reverb; ‘Neurotic World’ is a very different headspace than expected and a twist for old fans. But using his skill for hooks he climbs the songs out of the echoes and into our hearts. There are key British 60s influences on hand for sure. But this isn’t a nostalgia trip, this is fresh and full of new ideas.

He is at his best when singing about unrequited love; on’ Real Late’ and the standout track of the album ‘Cold Feet’ is the story of what if, a guy so wanting to make that move, but who can never make the leap; “ there’s a space for you at the edge of my seat” chorus refuses to diminish even days after listening.

When not singing about the melancholy, there is still plenty of time for the young, brash Finn to appear on the almost frightening ‘Struggle’ and rhythmic attacks of ‘Restless’ and ‘Jump Your Bones’. The guitars are out for attack and it’s a reminder to the more rocky Betchadupa years of old.

There are enough experiments in song writing versus studio craft to allow for a very rewarding album, not instantaneous pop but when given the time, an excellent sophomore effort.

[rating:4]


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