Fionn Regan - The End Of History

With the recent spate of singer-songwriters it must be coming increasingly difficult to distance yourself from the James Blunt's and Damien Rice's of the world; those artists who've gone beyond popular and have now become, especially in Blunt's case, a figure of fun and hate. In Fionn Regan's case, sheer talent and originality should do the trick and set him apart from the other pretenders. This is an album full of beautiful alt-folk songs and playing that can do nothing but move you as a listener.

From the opening track "Be Good Or Be Gone" you know you're listening to something very special. His voice; haunting, delicate and powerful all in one verse whilst his guitar playing is beautifully accurate and emotive begging comparisons with the sublime Nick Drake. This is contemporary folk music of the highest order; his lyrics can verge on the obscure for traditional folk, but this, in my mind at least, just reaffirms his singular and original vision. Initially these lyrics may sound odd, but they're just complex metaphors like on "Hey Rabbit" with the line "Hey badger, you're punched out, your mouth is around an aerosol can, they want you to sink but you stood up and swam" hinting, to me at least, peer group pressures and youth culture. The lyrics are certainly a lot more poetic than Mr. Blunt et al and become more moving and affecting because of that. "Put A Penny In The Slot" reminds me a lot of Ben Kweller; there's a playfulness here and matter-of-fact delivery of the lyrics that mixes the album up a bit, to at least hint that not everything is dark and depressing, though this song deals with heartbreak, it's done so in an almost positive way. The only downer on this album is "Bunker Or Basement" which is a little too Elliott Smith for comfort, and outstays it's welcome a bit, with nothing really happening other than gentle guitar strumming. But hey, if that's all I've got to complain about...

The production is nicely low key too, allowing Regan's songs to breath in a natural air, his airy guitar playing and vocals sounding like they've been recording in some rural barn, where there's a hint of something in the background; animals howls on "Hunters Map" happening just out of reach, that draws you in.

It may all be over in just under forty minutes, but this is a record that instantly has you pressing play again. That voice, that guitar playing, it all adds up to a record that should be on everyone's list and one that makes a perfect soundtrack to summer evenings. Highly recommended.



out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 04:44:43

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