Clear Heart Full Eyes, released next week on
Vagrant, finds the Hold Steady frontman moving into rock and roll adulthood. Listen to a couple of tracks, below.
By Jason Gross
love Hold Steady frontman Finn – he’s one of them, chronicling the rock
lifestyle in song. In solo mode, Finn
cranks out a record that’s a real departure.
Instead of yelling over roaring guitars, he’s made the ‘soft rock’
record that he’s joked about since his former band, Lifter Puller. Before, he was reflective about the bar- band
lifestyle, now he’s lyrically and musically thoughtful about life in general,
which is fitting since he’s just turned 40.
Finn’s compelling without the usual bluster that provides him momentum – his
voice never approaches its old roar but his nice melodic sense comes out here
more. He pals around with Jesus, toasts novelist Graham Greene (on the
relatively up-tempo “Honolulu Blues”) and crafts low-key gems like
the sweet broken-hearted “Rented Room” and gently despairing
“Not Much Left of Us.” Once confident and angry, now doubtful and fearful
(but not self-pitying), Finn’s become a rock and roll adult.