Faith In The Future
**** out of *****
The Hold Steady front-man uses his solo releases to turn down the guitars and amp up the story telling, this time digging into his September 11th, 2001 experience during "Newmyer's Roof" which was messy and confusing or inhabiting a drifters world view on opener "Maggie I've Been Searching For Our Son". While the words are what Finn does best, assembling a tight band around him this go around was key.
Joe Russo's drumming is the focal point musically keeping things moving at a steady clip providing pace when needed on the opener and even waltzing booms for "Sarah From Scranton". Producer Josh Kaufman's keeps it mostly mellow but adds flourishes like the horns in "Roman Guitars" counterbalancing the lyrics nicely or the piano line that dances with vibrations during "Going To A Show".
Tracks where it all comes together like "St. Peter Upside Down" proves that Finn still has a lot to say even if his recent tHS offerings have been on the dull side. Like the title says faith is restored as Finn even recalls "Chips Ahoy!" and horse races this time on "Sarah, Calling From A Hotel" even if the results are a bit scary. A track like the swelling "Trapper Avenue" would in the past been an epic closer for his main band but now a world weary Finn takes things down a notch closing with the conflicted "I Was Doing Fine (Then A Few People Died)".
Having gotten older, Finn always seems to write age appropriate songs, this time at 43 having recently lost his mother, things are restrained as he has seen more of the world, yet still manages to look forward to the next phase.
We love Craig Finn, one of the best songwriters out there. Support the artist here, buy the album here, and peep some video below: