10 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is one of rock’s great storytellers, a writer who can squeeze a novel into four minutes and still have room for guitar solos. His bittersweet third album follows—as always—the lives of good people stuck in bad situations, from the lonely, Springsteen-esque hearts of “Tangletown” to the deal gone wrong of “God in Chicago,” which marries Finn’s exquisite spoken-word poetry to a melancholy piano ballad.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is one of rock’s great storytellers, a writer who can squeeze a novel into four minutes and still have room for guitar solos. His bittersweet third album follows—as always—the lives of good people stuck in bad situations, from the lonely, Springsteen-esque hearts of “Tangletown” to the deal gone wrong of “God in Chicago,” which marries Finn’s exquisite spoken-word poetry to a melancholy piano ballad.

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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

10 Ratings

A great songwriter goes technicolor

I'll be you,

As we have come to expect, Craig Finn delivers another album of unique and great songs. All of the songs are filled with interesting characters and great little details, but I think more often than in the past, he is writing his own story. This record is more varied that the last two, with cool instrumentation throughout. Early favorites include "Jester and June" and "Preludes.". "God in Chicago" is a beautifully sad movie in less than 5 minutes. Well done.

Bittersweet and familiar

T McFee,

Not quite the punch in the face of The Hold Steady, but solid songwriting and creative storytelling. Its almost as if the boys in the bands from Joke About Jamaica grew up. The characters all feel familiar and the music is melancholy and moody with enough of a beat to keep it from become by depressing. This will be an album that grows on you until it becomes your favorite.

About Craig Finn

Perhaps best known as the singer of the Hold Steady, Craig Finn is a Minnesota-bred singer, songwriter, and guitarist based out of New York City. Combining literary influences like Jack Kerouac and John Berryman with the musical influences of Bruce Springsteen and fellow Minnesotan Paul Westerberg, Finn's highly descriptive lyrical style has a focus on narrative, crafting whole worlds for the people in his songs to exist within. In 1994, the singer put this style to work with the indie rock band Lifter Puller, refining his craft over the course of their three albums before the band called it quits in 2000. After the band dissolved, Finn relocated from the Twin Cities to New York, where he would collaborate with producer Mr. Projectile on the short-lived project the Brokerdealer in 2001 before eventually reuniting with Lifter Puller bassist Tad Kubler to form the Hold Steady in 2004. While the band's whiskey-fueled bar rock sound was a departure from the angular, synth-filled sounds of Lifter Puller, Finn's lyrically dense storytelling style remained intact, making the Hold Steady the thinking man's bar band. After five albums with the band, the singer and songwriter tried his hand at a solo album during some downtime from his main project, and in 2012 released Clear Heart Full Eyes through Vagrant Records. In 2015, Finn dropped his second solo album; Faith in the Future, released by Partisan Records, was drawn from a set of songs inspired by themes of loss and survival that Finn wrote in the wake of his mother's death. His third record appeared in 2017. Like his previous solo work, We All Want the Same Thing sounded like a continued riposte to the wilder side of the Hold Steady, while retaining his much-praised narrative lyrical style. ~ Gregory Heaney

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