Craig Finn of The Hold Steady releases Fireside worthy third solo album titled, “We All Want The Same Things.” Finn, a modern day melodic Longfellow, treats his musical poetry as if he were exploring love and relationship to an eager comrade.
Fifteen minutes short of an hour, Finn depicts the joys, sorrows, and a few laughs concerning growing up in love, with love, and deep down what we all really want. Finn, who looks like a cross between Elvis Costello and Henry Kissinger, is both a storyteller and a statesman for musical spoken word.
Finn, who just came off touring with the Japandroids is doing something raconteurs find comforting by playing small intimate venues. Finn, who’s stated publicly his joy for performing in tight spaces coined his introspective gatherings,“The Living Room Tour.” The US leg of “The Living Room Tour” saw Finn play a variety of settings from Polish halls, to churches with a few record stores thrown in, to special intimate residential home performances where the musician held town-hall like auditions.
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What We All Want,” was recorded mostly in Woodstock New York with producer Josh Kaufman along with help from other musicians including Hold Steady mate and guitarist Tad Kubler.
“Prelude” is an autobiographical poem symbolizing Finn’s lyrical expressions of how difficult growing up and relationships are when developing as a human being. One of the few songs that have a repeating chorus, “I got stuck in a snowbank and God watches us. We got into the Preludes and God watches us. God watches us.”
“God In Chicago” flows more like a eulogy for a friend and the sorrow and healing music provides, “Went from St. Paul to Cicero in my Chevrolet that didn’t have any radio. Had a boombox in the back seat that was running on batteries. Played 1999 into Led Zeppelin III. When the tape deck got all wobbly she still sang the harmonies.”
For the most part, each poem or track of the new release contains only minimal chorus lines but instead contain a plethora of imagery channelled through verses and rhythm to create a conversation one might be privileged to overhear from a street-corner preacher.
“Be Honest,” an epiphany of sorts contains a visual gem, as, “‘Cause it’s not pain, it’s more like pressure on the edges of my eyes. I see scales and bloody feather when I look into the lights.” Finn provides a prodigious reason not to look or fly too close to the sun Icarus.
“Tangletown,” It Hits When It Hits,” and Rescue Blues,” are all classic Finn Arlo Guthrie-styled joints destined to climb into the soul and create images of what we all really want, which is what we all really had, and still have the ability to keep inside, memories of love and the soul
Catch Finn live on his “We All Want The Same Things,” tour in the UK starting the 17th of April of this year at Bungay UK.
“We All Want The Same Things” is out now via Partisan Records.