CD Review: Craig Finn ~ Faith In The Future

CRAIG-FINN_Faith-in-the-Future_1500x1500Faith In The Future
Craig Finn
Partisan Records

Release Date 11th September 2015


Faith In The Future is the follow-up album to Clear Heart Full Eyes, as Hold Steady front-man Craig Finn creates another narrative driven solo album.  Bluesdoodles loved the single that previewed the album Newmyer’s Roof and is delighted that the full album lives up to the potential the single hinted at.

Produced by Josh Kaufman in the rustic confines of Woodstock’s The Isokon Recording Studio and released on Brooklyn-based indie label Partisan Records; Craig Finn has created an album that paints a picture as the tracks reveal hidden depths, nooks and crannies of sober living, faith, disappointments and hurt.  The story telling is crisp and pithy, short to the point that pulls you deep down into the music that whirls and falls around you creating a patchwork of colours. There is a mix of searing sunlight and mysterious silvery shadows, darkness and the grey of bewilderment and fear. Faith In The Future is a mesmerising and slightly addictive listen that draws you in and enthralls.

The ten tracks have a neatness and they flow though they all have a different beat and narrative. With its upbeat drum intro and guitar that hums through the speaker, and melody that is full of a contained energy as the story unfolds in the opening track, Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son. Neymeyers Roof,  has a driving rhythm that just makes the connection to the words and music, this is a real roof as Craig explained “Chris Newmyer is a friend of mine whose roof I was on while watching the Towers go down on 9/11. We were drinking beers because we didn’t know what else to do. That was kind of crazy. I went up there again recently to take a photo because I knew this album was coming out. He’s on Second Avenue and Ninth Street and 48 hours after we got the photo, those two East Village apartment buildings across the street exploded and burnt down. Strange and eerie timing.”  We loved the single when reviewed earlier in the year and we “said redolent with loss, hope as the clever phrasing as demonstrated in the chorus “No I’ve never been crucified. I’ve never been shot. I’ve never suffered or died. I’ve never been shot. but I’ve been lied to a lot. There are layers of irony and self-deprecation in a clever lyric driven song with a feel good feel definitely not grungy this makes you smile”.

The guitar strumming connects with Craig’s vocals with piano it is a mix of music that allows Going To A Show shine; it is about going to an event when the special magic has gone and sometimes just leaves you feeling jaded not delivering what we promised to ourselves but we keep going as the jackpot full of magic will be the next one!  The cleverness of the choice of words to build an atmosphere is apparent throughout Trapper Avenue, danger is lurking and yet in the midst of this is happy times and times can be good, the track flows in a cinematic way full of the ebbs and flows of emotions experienced through a day. The last track has a melody that is faster, almost in a hurry to reach the sunny uplands this is a short track that ends the album on the up, the opposite to what the title I Was Doing Fine (Then a Few People Died) suggests!

This not a depressive album there is like Pandora’s Box glimpses of hope that lead to contentment and answers that enable us to overcome life’s many complexities with a smile and feel the energy of positive emotions
This is what Craig said about the album:-
“I had both the music and lyrics to these songs, though they changed a great deal in the studio,” Finn explains. “There’s a grandness to The Hold Steady that tends to make me write about bigger, more dramatic themes. Some of these songs are more mundane, with minor slices of life that wouldn’t best be supported by the hugeness of a rock group. It wasn’t always about what we wanted to put in, but what should we leave out? We didn’t want to sermonize or moralize. Just let these songs, and characters, be.”

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Craig Finn – Faith In The Future – Partisan Records


Track Listing:

  1. Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son
  2. Roman Guitars
  3. Newmyer’s Roof
  4. Sarah, Calling from a Hotel
  5. Going to a Show
  6. Sandra from Scranton
  7. Peter Upside Down
  8. Trapper Avenue
  9. Christine
  10. I Was Doing Fine (Then a Few People Died)

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