Label: Yep Roc Records
Released: August 6, 2007
Liam Finn has a Beatlesque knack for writing great pop songs. Perhaps that comes from his father Neil of Crowded House/Split Enz fame, but Liam walks his own path, making the connection to his father more trivial than musical. The singer-songwriter thing can be pretty limited, but Finn’s generally folky pop has at different times elements of psyche, baroque pop and reggae. He even manages to incorporate the deliberate plodding of grunge as an undercurrent to some of his songs. His hooks are easy to get wrapped up in, yet they come as curveballs and change-ups as often as fastballs. Finn does borrow a bit from Elliot Smith’s pleasant, sad melodies, but not without adding his own unmistakable mark that sets him apart. As catchy as I’ll Be Lightning is, and it is very catchy, it is neither slick nor shiny nor maudlin. Finn covers a range of emotions from the soothing “Lullaby” to the wild “Lead Balloon” and everything in between. Over the course of the album, he gained such power over me as a listener that I suspect he’s one of those rare artists who could hold an arena captive to his music just as easily as he could a small club.
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