LIAM FINN – The Nihilist (2014)

Review by: Alejandro Muñoz G
Album assigned by: Nina A

From the heavy sampled percussion of “4 Track Stomper” to the moody dreamy “Miracle Glance”, from the piano-driven “Helena Bonham Carter”, to the kind-of-psychedelic “Snug As Fuck”, there’s certainly a significant diversity in terms of arrangement here. Some feature a lot of electronics while others use a more straight-forward rock approach. Another great thing about the arrangements are the little details, the little musical ornaments of the kind that you may not notice at first but then, when you pay attention to them playing in the background, you realize they’ve enhanced your listening experience. Interestingly, whatever form the arrangement takes, all the different tracks are built upon basic pop-rock songs.
 
The production is also generally good. It manages to accommodate the multiple layers of sound without making it too dense, and it keeps a certain evenness which ensures the album’s cohesion. The songs are not buried in the mix; the mix serves the songs. The noise never really becomes overwhelming nor tiring. However, I think I would have liked, at least in some of the songs, a more clean approach, especially regarding the vocals in the more intimate numbers. My biggest criticism is the length of some of the songs. They’re not really long when you look at their length, but they do feel like it. I feel most of them would be more effective if they were a bit shorter, specially the slow numbers.
 
Overall, the album is good. Very good. It doesn’t pretend to be particularly ground-breaking, neither does it seem as if it was aiming to recreate any retro sound. It’s just a solid album made up of well written catchy songs. Also, it achieves a great balance between melody and atmosphere. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to exploring Finn’s career. 
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Author: tomymostalas

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