If you look at the world today, I’m not convinced we all really want the same things. On his third solo offering, The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn seems to think we do though and he makes a good case for it with these ten songs. At the very least, he convinced me that we can all use some more Craig Finn in our lives.
Just like Bruce Springsteen, Finn has always excelled at telling stories. But whereas the Boss sings about blue collar America, the characters that inhabit Finn’s stories have taken up residence at society’s fringes. It’s easy to relate to these characters as they aspire to better their lives and it’s even easier to relate to these songs. “Preludes” for example comes with the kind of fluttery keyboards that make you fall in love with it right from the first time and the gentle electro-pop of “Birds Trapped In The Airport” is every bit as beautiful as the song’s title.
Finn has always been more of a talker than a singer, but he has never gone further towards spoken word than on the sober, pianp-driven “God In Chicago”, which tells the story of a man driven by grief and desperation who turns to crime. It suits Finn well, but there is as much to be said for songs like the slowly shuffling “Rescue Blues, which comes with the album’s best chorus and hits you right in the feels, the Elvis Costello-esque “Tracking Shots” and “It Hits When It Hits”, a moving story about unrequited love.
While Finn wasn’t exactly slouching on his first two solo albums, “We All Want The Same Things” is his most accomplished release to date. Like with a good book, it’s easy to get lost in these songs and the characters will stay with you long after the last notes of “Be Honest” have rung out.
- Jester & June
- Ninety Bucks
- Birds Trapped in the Airport
- God in Chicago
- Rescue Blues
- It Hits When It Hits
- Tracking Shots
- Be Honest