the offspring of a famous artist rarely assures of success, although the name
recognition it affords obviously doesn’t hurt either. And yet, when it comes to
the musicians who have been most successful in establishing their own franchise
– Teddy Thompson and Rufus Wainwright spring immediately to mind – it’s those
that have veered furthest away from mom or dad’s template that have attained
the biggest breakout.
son of Crowded House’s Neil Finn, Liam Finn certainly falls into that category.
Although his initial efforts – the full-length I’ll Be Lightning and its
follow-up, the Champagne in Seashells EP – didn’t make him an overnight
star, they did provide evidence that he wasn’t merely mimicking his dad, but
that he’d plot his own identity instead. Finn’s obviously ruminated on his
choices quite carefully; it’s been three years since his last offering, and
given the fresh currency he invests in this new effort, he’s clearly has his
sights set on fresh ideas.
for all his wanderlust, Finn betrays some attachment to the home front. The new
album’s title signals second thoughts (FOMO is an acronym for “Fear of
Missing Out”), and the highly charged arrangements often threaten to blur the
appealing melodies hidden within. “Neurotic World,” for example, creates the
impression of a yearning lament, but the swirling soundscape seems somewhat out
of sync. On the other hand, “Cold Feet” proves a more affable outing, a cooing
pop song that’s radio ready. The lazy sway of “Real Late” is mooted by its follow
up, the hyper, high-strung, and aptly named “The Struggle,” and even a song
like “Reckless,” a formidable rocker by any measure, takes too much of a cue
from its title by using the raucous undertow to push the point.
FOMO offers the impression Finn’s still struggling to find his way, even
as he bravely ventures forward. A little fine tuning, and this Finn ought to be
DOWNLOAD: “Cold Feet,” “Real
Late” LEE ZIMMERMAN