I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!
I featured Craig Finn a few months back in a My Music Monday segment. I also went and downloaded his newest solo disk, I Need a New War.
I would say Finn is an acquired taste. I like him, but don't love him. He is decent songwriter, but just an ok guitarist and singer. What he probably is more than any of those things is a storyteller.
The music itself is subdued - mostly. But his lyrics have almost semi-fleshed out characters - or hints that they are. Yes, it seems all of them smoke and have drug issues, but.....well..........write what you know? Honestly, the 8-ball that he sings about in the back room of the bar ("Magic Marker") is most likely not on a pool table.
The more I listen to I Need a New War, the more I find to like. I won't tell you it's an easy listen, but eventually it's kind of satisfying. But this isn't traditional sing-along music. Some of it is, but overall........not so much.
I'm liking the music and the horns (though not the sax on "Indications"). Vocals are more sing-speaking. It work for him, but it's one of the reasons you're rarely going to sing along.
There are not tons of variations in Finn's tunes. They mostly have the same (or similar) cadence.
I Need a New War isn't really a casual listen. It takes effort for sure, but the more I sample, the more I sit in a car uninterrupted, there is a pay-off.