Fionn Regan - Shadow Of An Empire
You remember Fionn Regan. He released that album of pretty little ditties (The End of History) a couple of years back and was (somewhat unfairly) upstaged completely by Bon Iver. Well Mr Regan is not one to let that kind of thing get him down and he returns early in 2010, refreshed and considerably more rocking.
It would be fair to say that this is a singer-songwriter with both feet firmly in the ‘eccentric’ and ‘a little bit kooky’ section of that particular genre. His debut included titles such as ‘Hey Rabbit’ and ‘The Underwood Typewriter’. This is a man with a prolific and over-active imagination and his sophomore effort is no less unusual. Jolly sounding odes to mental illness sit quietly between songs about coat hooks and ‘house detectives’. It’s an uncanny knack to deal with weighty or unusual subjects without them overshadowing the tunes themselves but Regan certainly pulls it off. You find yourself happily warbling ‘welcome to the genocide matinee’ before realising what you’ve done. Say what? Genocide? No, I don’t think I approve of that at all …
Musically, the album suffers from a multitude of comparisons and Regan seems to still be struggling to find a sound that is very much his own. But, credit to him, he hasn’t just stuck with a formula and has pushed his sound on. Even if that was by listening to Johnny Cash a little too much.