Finnian - Under the Influence
Growing up in Dundalk, Ireland, Finnian has carefully nurtured his songwriting to the point where he is now being lauded by his peers as one of the most exciting talents of the country. His music is honest, concise and textured in a way that few have achieved with such conviction. Under the Influence is a culmination of two years o work which has been honed into one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Already praised for his lyrics, Under The Influence marries this lyrical prowess with a musicality that few in the genre can claim to posses. His beginnings as a folk based songwriter have now truly evolved into a fresh interpretation of the genre but also Finnian's established standing within it.
The album opens with Where We Go, previously released as a single. Jazzy breath of fresh air with an uplifting feel and tasty brass section gives the listener a clear idea this album is gonna be something else. "all I wanna know is where we go from here"
He's wearing his heart on his sleeve in Stay, the lyrics " I tried to stop my heart but it was out of control" paint a clear picture of that. Romantic theme encoated with lovely jazzy sounds doesn't sound that sweet but the power of tthe words remains. Finnian's vocal is very comforting throughout the album, confident at the same time. He knows what he's doing and he believes in his art. The self-belief is essential for any artist. Finnian§s album flows smoothly, gives the listener a relaxing feeling and demands attention at the same time.
Don't Want To See You Go sees Finnian back where he comes from. Mention of Dundalk's Spirit Store is an unmissable. Always good for the artists to remember their roots.
Out of Sight is a beautiful gospel with gentle piano and organ accompaniment, showcasing Finnian's range and giving the impression he can sing anything he puts his mind to. And succeed each time.As the album moves to its second half, the songs are more energetic, more upbeat, you gotta be dancing along in no time.
Lifted Up might be the only case where the melody catches your attention more than the lyrics. The delicious combination of keyboards and the saxophone is a true highlight.
The Devil in the Flashing Lights shows a slightly rebelious side of Finnian as he seduces the listener with the words "sold my soul to the devil and it feels allright"
Overall, Under the Influence is highly accomplished piece of work, delightful mix of styles with an impressive vocal above it all. These 9 songs are like a box of chocolates - choice of various flavours, you keep longing for more and the end comes too soon.