# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Craig Finn - I Need a New War

  by Erick Mertz

published: 4 / 7 / 2019

Craig Finn - I Need a New War
Label: Partisan Records
Format: CD


Lyrical and stripped down latest solo album from Hold Steady front man and guitarist Craig Finn

The myth of the American greatness has been under construction for many centuries, a project that began before the flag and wagon trains and cowboys. Hubris is perhaps the formative concept for this once great nation. Now the continent has been tamed though. We know El Dorado lies nowhere in any direction. Compass points in and of themselves do not foretell of fortunes. We’ve learned this truth from a host of great statesmen and writers like, for our purposes, Craig Finn. 'I Need Another War' is Finn’s fourth solo album. As lead singer and guitarist of the Brooklyn, New York indie rock band, the Hold Steady, he has produced six additional records. By all measures, Finn is a prolific craftsman, cranking out some of the strongest songwriter/storyteller tracks in contemporary American music. Finn’s solo albums feel carved out of the same tradition as contemporary American novelist Richard Ford. Things don’t work well between people. Their relationships are false or strained at the seams. All of their stuff is broken. They may have health insurance, but they sweat every blood test for the inevitable bad news that befalls us all. Finn’s lyrical acumen has been on display for the world to witness since The Hold Steady’s 2004’s 'Almost Killed Me', their insta-classic debut record. On this particular record, fifteen long, road hardened years later, Finn has all but dispensed with post punk excess, trading in cranked up, lavish instrumentation for simple arrangements that while catchy and memorable in their own right, feel like they’re present as backdrop for the storyteller’s real color. It’s hard to listen to 'I Need a New War' and point out this song, or that song. Nothing really feels like it stands for something more profound than any other. Finn does little character studies of unheralded people. He does relationships. He is a master of the juxtaposing the moments that bind us with the moments that gag. There are passages on this album that make me curl up into a little ball, hoping and praying for the best. Then there are others that make me want to call my long lost friends because hell, they’re on the same limited time plan I am. It’s like listening to Springsteen’s 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' for the first time again. Picking out the complications that naturally arise when we drink and lie and forget and steal forms the fetid heartbeat of any Craig Finn song – and has been since the beginning – and on this record, that does not disappoint.

Track Listing:-
1 Blankets
2 Magic Marker
3 A Bathtub In The Kitchen
4 Indications
5 Grant at Galena
6 Something to Hope For
7 Carmen Isn't Coming In Today
8 Holyoke
9 Her With The Blues
10 Anne Marie & Shane

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