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The following damning review of EIH appears in the latest edition of The Independent. Apparently The Finns too old and not out-there enough for wild-man Andy Gill (a 55 year-old hack)

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/music/reviews/story.jsp?story=553145

Album: The Finn Brothers
Everyone Is Here, PARLOPHONE
By Andy Gill
20 August 2004

2 out of 5 stars

Each album released by Neil and Tim Finn inevitably gets compared to Crowded House's Woodface, the crowning glory of the brothers' careers. And is inevitably found wanting. That's the problem with crowning glories: the only way is down, unless you possess the protean ability of a Dylan or a Bowie. Unfortunately, the Finns only know the one way: they're crafters of accomplished adult pop, their Beatle-derived roots impossible to disguise, whatever the quirky sonic strategies employed by producer Mitchell Froom, and their songs thus always tainted with a certain predictability. So they end up making albums such as Everyone Is Here, another collection of mature, methodical, rather maudlin songs about the value of monogamy ("Luckiest Man Alive"), salvaging a shaky relationship ("Anything Can Happen"), bridging the gulf between people ("A Life Between Us"), and the strength of family ("Won't Give in"). After five or six such sermons, you're gagging for a dash of sex, drugs or rock'n'roll. Instead, you get "Disembodied Voices", about childhood hopes and fears, or "All God's Children", about universal love, which - spare us! - sounds like Wings. It would be nice if, once in a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect.
Original Post
Don't worry. We all know Finn lyrics could be used for newspaper/media headlines. Love the title of this message In Love With It All!!! Smiler Cool Big Grin ...very Nostradmus prophetic Neil Finn Frowner Razzer Eeker

Obviously the reviewer has no idea about the intricate ambigious philosophy behind Finn lyrics.
'All God's Children' is single material, the modern day version of John Lennon's 'Imagine'. It's NOT a 'love' song you stupid TWIT reviewer...it's a rehash of their bi-polar agnosticism/lapsed Catholic reccurring lyrics - from from being a love song. He has no idea, quit your day job Mad Mad
Gee, Dylan or Bowie? What the f*@%! Dylan isn't even hardly a musician in my book, and Bowie just can't set the record straight, and just can't seem to make it into the 21st century...
I'd also like to know what "sonic strategies" that Mitchell Froom uses, because the only real thing that keeps Finn fans following is the timelessness of the issues and the honey voices they possess...no tricks here...
So, actually, the only way is up, since all the other rockers who also got their start in the seventies are pretty much, well, overdosed, or something similar, hence the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll"...
Man, I just can't stand people who are mean to my Finn!
But, this dude is obviously an idiot, so why do I even waste my breath?

Just call me the Great Finn Defender!!!javascript:void(0)

www.mleemarie.com
Big Grin
Why is Andy Gill being described as an idiot, just for committing the crime of disliking the album? Surely he�s entitled to his opinion, and as a reviewer who is paid to voice his thoughts on new releases of the day, he�s within his rights to say if he hates it.

I have to say � so far any negative reviews I�ve seen of the album which have been posted on this Forum have been met with howls of criticism from certain people who seem to dislike anything negative being said about their beloved Neil and Tim, no matter how well-reasoned or objective the criticism is.

To some fans of the Finns, everything they do is genius, perfect and above criticism � which simply is untrue. If an objective, open-minded, honest review of the record is required, then I think that communities like this are usually far too subjective to allow it. After all, we�re all here because we�re fans of their previously-released music, and are hardly likely to be the best audience to judge any new Finn music simply on it�s merits without comparing it favourably with former releases. The style and sound of their music is already established for us, so it�s just easier to like. Give the reviewer a chance: he is trying to look at it from the outside, unlike many of us. We have an insight that maybe he doesn�t, but he can only judge based on what he hears. Maybe he has an objectivity that we don�t.

Specifically about EIH � are his opinions quite so harsh, or wrong? Basically from what I read, he seems to be saying that the music is pleasant but unadventurous, and that he�d like to see the Finns produce something less predictable in his view. Reasonable criticism I�d say. Having the same writers, producer and mixer as on previous releases is always going to draw comparison with the past hits like Woodface, so it�s inevitable that the reviewer will see this album as consolidation rather than progression.

What I would agree with is that perhaps Andy Gill is a little �set� in his musical tastes � for several years he worked on (and was editor of) Q magazine, a UK music monthly which I used to buy regularly, until I got tired of their constant celebration of established acts like Bob Dylan in particular (every month!), and the lack of willingness to feature new bands and ideas. So maybe it�s to be half-expected. Describing him as a hack is unfair, but if you ask ten people, you�ll get ten opinions. And at least he speaks his mind.

Bear in mind � it�s early days yet, the album is still fresh and all we have to go on so far are a few tracks and live performances. Given time, I�m sure that all reviewers will be able to give a more considered, careful opinion once they�ve had a chance to digest and �grow into� the songs. Remember we�re discussing an album that hasn�t even been released yet � exactly how many of us are 100% familiar with it? First impressions don�t often count for much, but the slight hysteria which surrounds a negative review shouldn�t get in the way of what promises to be a well-rounded, truly enjoyable record.
What I find annoying in this review is that Mr. Gill equals "innovative" or "cutting edge" with - I quote - "a dash of sex, drugs or rock'n'roll". Come on. Isn't that precisely what we're being showered with any given day? I honor his taste, which may be different, but, to be frank, I find this effort somewhat more daring than the Woodface album (much as I like that one).
Unfortunately, that seems to be a common occurence with reviewers in the UK Mercer, especially concerning the Finns.

The thing that gets to me is the constant emphasis on it being mid-life music. Most of the reviews I've read have made some sneering mention of this. Its like they just look at how old the Finns are, listen to a few lines or take the title of a song and make the assumption that because this is music written by 40-50yr olds its also only for 40-50yr olds.

They fail to realise how wide the appeal of the music is. Sure, if the Finns are trying to reach real issues in their writing they will obviously appeal to people of their own generation but it annoys me that reviewers can't see any further than that. I'm 24 myself and the reason the Finns music means so much to me is because I can relate to it so much more than the bands the music critics tell me I'm supposed to relate to.

At the Regents Park gig I remember looking around and noting how many people of my age there were. Its been the same at Neil solo gigs I've been to. Do music journalists conveniently forget this sort of thing so they can fit more smart-arse comments in their articles?

Plus, how can this guy say "Unfortunately, the Finns only know the one way" and then talk about "the protean ability of a Dylan" within a couple of sentences??? Confused
Personally I wouldn't agree with this review, but I agree with what Anselm says in that this guy has, and is entitled to his opinion and that he may have an outside objectivity while fans are likely to be more biased.

At the end of the day, what matters to me is that I like it, so I'll read this reviewers criticism, take it on board, but agree to disagree.
I think we ought to note the title of the newspaper 'The Independent'.
Let this reviewer stand alone and be independent.
I think Mr Gill is a fine and dandy music journalist but with a different opinion of what makes viable, enjoyable music.
I have read good reviews, i have read bad reviews.
Lets not forget that 'Whats the story (morning glory)' was panned when it got reviewed !!

I buy the independent most day as it is a bloody good paper with lots of great writers.
Lets not be upsat that not everyboy likes what we like. If they did then we might not be able to get tickets to gigs in future. Worth thinking about.

Love as always

Stuart
It's the last sentence that's gets me:

"It would be nice if, once in a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect."

I'd agree that some of the songs have a middle-aged perspective. It's unfortunate that in our society, where youth is so highly valued, more so than wisdom or experience, the term has such negative connotations. What the Finns manage though, is to present it as something truly positive. It's definitely a glass-half-full attitude. Mr Gill seems to have missed that. But as Anselm says, the Finns music can be difficult to fully appreciate after one (or even a dozen) listens, so I at least will forgive him.
Fans know more than you think. They can name the next line of a lyric in a song instantly. They can name the tracklistings etc et al. Hence they would be the first to say the quality is not as good as before. For example, the current thread about Alex Lloyd proves this. A lot of us Finn fans were fans of AL's debut album 'Black The Sun' and became fans. Then a lot of us were quick to notice that his CDs have gotten worse after each new album he has released.

We 'fans' aren't afraid to admit that. I'm sure any drop in quality would be stomped upon by us Finn-atics, to prevent/provide future albums constructive feedback suffering a similar fate 'History Never Repeats'?. I have already listened to the whole album, while I admit it's not extraordinary, let alone revolutionary...it does not deserve negative reviews - it's a competent CD, which once you understand, digest and get your mind around - will last you in_finn_ite number of listens. So make sure you do the hard work, listen to it over and over, be patient (play the 'Waiting Game') and you will be rewarded. 99% of music, film and art is like that.

For example I hated watching Donnie Darko on DVD the first time I because I didn't understand it. But I became a FAN after watching it again...and again. This is where reviewers will always fail. They are set a deadline. Love and understanding the communication process between artist and fan/listener/viewer/consumer is a long term thing.

I agree about reviewers singling out the Bros's age. I am 24 yet I still relate to all their lyrics. I was 'Spellbound' by CH when I was barely reaching my teens in 1992 during Woodface...so it's without doubt the Finn's can reach you at any age/whatever your generation. So here we go stereotyping them because they are old, pigeoning them into a hole. That's just plain discriminatory ageism.
i'm.hard.2.de.fine, I totally disagree with what you�ve said.

Firstly, at no point have I cast doubt on the integrity or ability of fans to recognise what they like. I am a fan of the music myself, as are you. That�s exactly it, but in reverse. It�s precisely because of this fact that I suggest that fans are more likely to warm to their favourite artist�s new release, because they already have an empathy, knowledge and liking for the music which has been produced before. They are also more likely to be over-protective of the artist, and less open to crticical comment from people who �don�t know what they�re talking about�, simply because they don�t happen to like it. As for your Alex Lloyd reference, just because several people post and say how much they think his albums have got worse since, that doesn�t necessarily mean that it forms a consensus. Maybe all the people who liked each album didn�t decide to register that fact. As for �better�, �worse� etc�the whole thing is too subjective. Music is an art form � there is no good or bad, it�s just interpreted differently. If you like it, you�ll think it�s good. If you don�t, you�ll think it�s bad. So I am not convinced that the Alex Lloyd example proves anything.

I don�t understand your comment about �I have already listened to the whole album, while I admit it's not extraordinary, let alone revolutionary...it does not deserve negative reviews�. Are you saying, that the record cannot be criticised? That anyone who dismisses it is stupid? And what exactly WOULD have made it extraordinary or revolutionary to you? What exactly IS a 'competent' CD?

Where exactly was the �discriminatory ageism� in the review? I must have missed that. I don�t think age comes into it anyway�anyone can like and relate to the Finns� music, provided that they are open-minded enough to do so, and they allow themselves to.
Well said, Anselm. There would be nothing more boring than a world where we all thought the same and every review was the same laudatory collection of clich�s. Who cares if this guy doesn't like it? Who cares if someone else does? They're just critics, doing their job and filling up pages in their respective publications.

i'm.hard.2.de.fine said "I have already listened to the whole album, while I admit it's not extraordinary, let alone revolutionary...it does not deserve negative reviews - it's a competent CD, which once you understand, digest and get your mind around - will last you in_finn_ite number of listens."

Well, I think this applies to most CDs if you approach them with an open mind and give them a chance. But critics don't necessarily have time to "digest and get [their] mind around it", they have a pile of other CDs to review too. It is a pity of course, but that's how it is. I thought the Independent's actual interview with them was quite positive and complimentary.

Don't forget that "fan" is short for "fanatic", which is a word to be more wary of. Personally I tend to like most of the what the Finns do and normally learn to like some of the other things. Certain things will always be crap to me though - Don't Ask Why from One Nil for example. But I am quite happy to hear these experiments, and I accept that some people like it and some people don't. That's life.
Thanks for expressing many of my thoughts Sad Claude.

I don't agree with the Independent's reviewer, but like Anselm, I think he's entitled to his opinions. While many of us on this forum feel that the Finns are musical geniuses (geniui?), not everyone is going to feel that way. And the world is more interesting for that fact.

I have to admit that I was surprised and a little disappointed when I learned that the Brothers had gone with Mitchell Froom as the main producer on this album, instead of keeping all of the Visconti sessions (at least they kept some of the influences / string arrangements), but it's not up to me to second-guess the artists on this. Neil and Tim wanted to make an album that was meaningful to them in every way, and that's to their definite credit. At the end of the day, they need to be happy with the results, and from the interviews I've seen with them so far, they apparently are.

If a critic doesn't know all the background behind the choice of the producer and mixer, that's not surprising. Everyone has their own opinions on the end result, and I respect that. All I know is that I'm excited to hear the new album (new Finn music is a good thing in our house), and I will feel that the money I pay to get it is well-spent.

Roll on Monday!
I agree with a lot of people's points here, Mr Gill is entitled to his opinion - what angered me is the cheap shots he took against the Finns, scoring himself brownie points when he claims to be a music critic!
I think Aluciador summed it up best using this quote - "It would be nice if, once in a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect." Was Mr Gill listening to the same album as the rest of us. What in the album suggests growing old is GRIM? Won't Give in for example is a bittersweet celebration of family. Fair enough it contains moments of sadness in it, but what would mr Gill have liked it to do? Get rid of family in favour of 'sex drugs 'n rock and roll?' What kind of outdated writing is that?

So to conclude YES Mr Gill is entitled to his opinion, but he's also a writer for one of the most respectable and downright readable newspapers in the Uk. That this kind of lazy writing should be deemed as acceptable in a daily newspaper of such high standards just goes a little further to justify my hate of the British Music press.
Eh. Not a poorly written review, simply a critical one. The guy simply doesn't feel that the album fits his taste.

He's not saying the Finns are bad songwriters or incompetents or gits. He's just saying they're a wee tad too adult and mature for his taste.

As he put it, "they're crafters of accomplished adult pop". Nothin' wrong with that. I think that's a positive, he thinks that's a negative. He might find, say, the Strokes to be the new young-happening-energy-rock-cool thing. I think they're immature vacuous pop-punk. Doesn't mean I think they're bad musicians or songwriters, they're very catchy. I just find their music *wanting* in my taste. And yet I'll dance to it at a club.
I don't think there's many of us naive enough to think everyone must love this record just because we do. I agree with a lot of what Mercer said. Its the cheap shots he took against the Finns that make people angry.

If a reviewer writes a bad review of the album it doesn't really matter to me. I know what I like and what I don't and I've never really paid much attention to reviews when buying CDs. But I would expect (especially from a newspaper like The Independent) to get a meaningful, intelligent critique of the album. Afterall, that is his job and if he is a genuine lover of music you'd expect him to put as much into his work as the Finns put into theirs. Even if he doesn't like it.

It might just put a lot of non-fans off because of the way it is written and not the contents of the actual album. Thats where it annoys me.

Its very lazy journalism and whats all this about "sex, drugs or rock'n'roll"??? If the Finns WERE writing about this they would be laughed at. Instead they try to be true to themselves and write about what they know and believe in and are still ridiculed. They can't win.

So yeah, the guy obviously doesn't like the album much - fair enough. But, IMO, it is a poorly written review and is so typical of the UK music press.
I am a 22 year-old female who is in love with Finn music of all kinds. I grew up with it, which helps, (my parents are also musicians), and I am not rushing out to get a fresh dose of "sex drugs and whatever..."

I can appreciate the wisdom and bravery in the Finn's lyrics and subtle styles, and I am not middle aged. And by bravery I mean, what does Andy Gill prefer for the Finns? For them to run off and try to act all middle-age crisis, denying their true spirit and playing it "cool" for the ignorant minded masses? We all know what happens to those people (Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Aerosmith....)

Of course they sound like Wings, they are one of the only bands who can so melodically speak of their yearning for truth and peace, etc...

Anselm, I am worried about you. Who do you defend here? An ignorant music critic who makes his money telling masses of people what he thinks using no substantial backing, or two people who have spent their lives doing what they love, and making a heck of a product out of it, at no ones expense? There has always got to be one in some thread who comes in and tries to play preacher, tries to defend whatever is being smashed. If you are on this forum, then act like a Finn fan. It was not necessary to put down i'm.hard.2.define's post. You say you missed the "aegism" in the review, but you clearly must have looked over the last line when Andy says "if, once and a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect."

Sevenworlds, you put the whole thing in perspective..
The reviewer has confused things here. He seems to dislike the Finn's takes on growing older, when in truth, what they explore is not growing older, it's growing wiser, becoming more mature, figuring out the important things in life--family, home, finding the right balance to the many aspects of life. Some people may reach the age of our reviewer and never know that there is something beyond sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. Many are still into instant gratification which in the end leaves you empty. Though maturity and age are correlated usually, it is not always the case. In addition, he completely misses how the life experience of the Finn brothers is reflected in their music, from the demands of a career in music, to working closely with a sibling, to losing your mother to a horrid disease. Perhaps the reviewer is missing the days when rock n roll was truly revolutionary; and in doing, he really shows how little he has matured through the years...

Mad Pet Peeve #1--Why are traditional values considered uncool? Why are one night stands and being an addict cool? Why is finding a place of contentment in your life uncool? Why is being miserable cool?? So stupid.

Mad Pet Peeve#2--If the reviewer is entitled to his opinion (no duh!), then why don't In Love With It All, i'm.hard.2.de.fine, Mlee Marie, geddy, me and all the rest have the right to our opinion in thinking he is a fool? Mad
quote:
Originally posted by Riverdeboz:
[qb] Mad Pet Peeve#2--If the reviewer is entitled to his opinion (no duh!), then why don't In Love With It All, i'm.hard.2.de.fine, Mlee Marie, geddy, me and all the rest have the right to our opinion in thinking he is a fool? Mad [/qb]
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, of course. I suspect the limitation of "words on a page" is at work here. Peoples' posts are being taken as more aggressive than the poster meant their words to be. Without the cues of non-verbal communication it's easy to misunderstand someone's intent behind their post. I'm sure that no-one means to make any of their Frenz feel their opinions are not valid.

Mutual respect reigns... I hope this emotion is all just because we're just all passionate about our favourite artists' work.
"I hope this emotion is all just because we're just all passionate about our favourite artists' work."

And if it's not, then we're crazy lunatics with emotional problems that could get out of hand at any second and in that case this topic should be closed or deleted!

Or take out all of the possibly offensive emoticons, like the angry face, and leave only the rational, smily ones!
quote:
Originally posted by Mlee Marie:
[qb] "I hope this emotion is all just because we're just all passionate about our favourite artists' work."

And if it's not, then we're crazy lunatics with emotional problems that could get out of hand at any second and in that case this topic should be closed or deleted!

Or take out all of the possibly offensive emoticons, like the angry face, and leave only the rational, smily ones! [/qb]
Just to be clear... my comment about "passionate emotion" was said with my tongue very much in my cheek. Maybe I should have included a few more smileys to make my point.

Again -- everyone is entitled to their opinion, and to post it here as long as mutual respect is maintained.

Can we get back on topic now please? Thanks!
Some beautiful writing in this thread, whatever the opinion being expressed, thank you. Riverdeboz, your comment

"Why are traditional values considered uncool? Why are one night stands and being an addict cool? Why is finding a place of contentment in your life uncool? Why is being miserable cool?? So stupid"

is so apt. It could almost stand as a review of Everyone is Here in it's own right, in my book.

There is a line missing from the end of the transcription of the review. It says, in bold print, "Interview, page 12". I hope the paper's readers turned the page. If so, they will have read about two interesting, intelligent guys and their music and seen a picture of them, looking, well, quite cool, should such a thing be important. Maybe that will act as an antedote to the review.
I think mutual respect has been retained in this thread....in fact I think it's been a pretty interesting discussion on what to take away from reviews and what to ignore. My final thoughts are that sevenworlds managed to sum things up pretty darn well - we're not attacking the right of said person to his opinion - we're attacking the position of influence he's in and the laziness of his writing which seems just a little contridictary.
quote:
Anselm, I am worried about you. Who do you defend here?
Amazing how seriously some people take it all. I'm not defending anyone. I don't even agree with what he said. I'm saying "allow the chap his opinion, whether or not you feel he's done justice in the review or not". He never stood a chance! No need to dismiss him as a reviewer, simply because he didn't say it was a great album. If he had, would we be discussing it now?

quote:
An ignorant music critic who makes his money telling masses of people what he thinks using no substantial backing, or two people who have spent their lives doing what they love, and making a heck of a product out of it, at no ones expense?
You describe him as ignorant, I'd say that he just sees it his way and you see it yours. He said he would have liked to hear something less predictable from the Finns, and I can understand that. His 'substantial backing' includes many years listening to music and writing editorial comment. Note: I don't agree with him, but I understand his reasoning. If he thinks the music and style is similar to what he's heard before, so be it. If he predicted that this record would sound exactly as it does before he played it and was proved right, then perhaps he's found a grain of truth. His ears, his call. As we are fans of the Finns' music and many of us analyse and intepret their tunes and lyrics to the Nth degree, I would claim that each new album release is likely to be far more important to us than it is to Andy Gill, who simply has the task of saying if he likes it or not in a few simple lines, after a few plays. He reviews records every week...compared to a web-based community who idolise the Finns, why would he be likely to analyse it in any greater detail? He has nothing to gain from a bad review.

quote:
There has always got to be one in some thread who comes in and tries to play preacher, tries to defend whatever is being smashed. If you are on this forum, then act like a Finn fan.
I love and enjoy Neil and Tim's music as much as anyone else and have done for a long time, but that doesn't stop me being objective and able to react to criticism in a positive way without letting fan-worship get in the way. What exactly would you expect from a 'Finn fan'...that I would be expected to be conscripted into joining the chorus of voices who attack a music journalist for dismissing an album they like based on a few lines in a newspaper? I'd rather read what he says and smile, knowing that I had a deeper insight into the music than him. And I'd still buy it, regardless.

quote:
It was not necessary to put down i'm.hard.2.define's post.
Not me. Putting down is one thing, total disagreement with someone is another. I disagreed with a few points, and countered with some questions of my own. Debate. Last time I checked, this forum was intended for DISCUSSION of music and related threads, so I doubt that we would have a forum at all, if we all held the same views. Vive le difference. If you don't agree with it, challenge it!

quote:

You say you missed the "aegism" in the review, but you clearly must have looked over the last line when Andy says "if, once and a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect."
Perhaps he meant that for him, growing older seemed to signify that once an established musical artist had reached a certain point at an advanced stage of their career, that the desire to push the boundaries of possibilities, explore new lyrical and musical avenues, and think up was of saying things differently was likely to diminish, based on the evidence he'd heard from listening to the new Finn album. And that he would have liked them to fight off such complacency by producing something totally different to how they've ever sounded and written before.
I'm sorry for letting the genie out of the bottle (or so to speak) Frowner . Looking back and reading the review, I sincerely don't know what came over me - to defend the Finns and get somehwhat too personal with the reviewer. I now agree with what he said. Woodface was an epiphany for me at a tender age of 12. It was the first Finn album I listened to, saw video clips on TV and was 'hooked' ever since.
I can now understand why the review was critical. WF was a phenomonema, a media sensation for the Finns. The album that broke them into the other side of the world: Europe. Many of us fans will long time debate whether Weather With You or Don't Dream It's Over is the song that defines and eptomises 30 years of being in the music industry....

Yes Anselm is right. Music is all subjective: plain and simple - one man's treasure, is another's garbage. Sorry for stirring the pot a little to much. You all made valid points fellow frenz fans. The review said:

quote:
It would be nice if, once in a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect
I think this is where you can assert the writers knowledge. I often find Finn lyrics to be generally dark. Angst about death (One Nil's 'Anytime', 'Anything Can Happen'), protests against capitilism ('Human Kindness', Feeding The God's 'I'll Never Know'), spiritual agnst/doubt ('Sinner', 'There Goes God', 'Where Is My Soul', 'Sacred Cow', 'Only Talking Sense' etc). Yes I know these are just my interpetations about the songs, but whenever I feel blue I put on a Finn CD for therapy. But inspite of all that, I've read a lot of reviews and Neil even said this about 1-0, 'there is a sense of resolve' within all these heavy, big issue themes. Further yes, there is a light amongst the darkness. Often you have to confront your demons to battle/conquer them and this is where the Finn's have succeeded. EIH is not a dark album BTW. I've listened to it countless times and it is more upbeat and hopefull. I guess the reviewer had sterotyped Finn music as being gloomy and dark, along with getting old. But that's not the case here with EIH. It's a celebration of love, that yes, touches ageing existential themes, but is the 'yang' of the eponymous 1995 album - the other side of the coin so to say. Just have a listen to 'Homesick':
for the spirit than I'm missing
for the country that I'm living in


The best description of Finn music is contained in the liner notes of CH's best of Reccurring Dream CD. That was their most famous selling CD and amidst it's wake - it has left a legacy that Finn music is melancholy. That is a marketing sterotype that IMHO has brainwashed and shed negative light of future Finn CD releases for the media (and isn't their job to be as objective and neutral as possible?). So can we really blame the reviewer - History Never Repeats'?
This has been interesting reading. I have a somewhat interesting perspective on this I think. Because, while I am a HUGE Finn fan and have loved their music since 1986, I am in fact pretty underwhelmed by the new album. I wanted to love it, I was very excited about it, but I just am not crazy about it. So if I, a fan who is very-predisposed to loving the new album, could feel this way about it I'm not at all surprised by some lackluster reviews from critics who aren't as fanatical as I am.

I must admit I even agreed with the reviewer in places. I feel like some of the lyrics are kinda sappy, which is shocking to me. One thing I have always appreciated about Neil is that he can conjure up such amazing imagery with his lyrics and doesn't need to go for obvious cliches. Not being as much of a Tim fan, I can't say if this is the case with him or not (this is not intended as an insult, I'm just unfamiliar with his lyrics). And then I heard some of the lyrics on EIH and there were places where I actually cringed. Of course the album has it's moments of brilliance (POMPOY being a fine example), but largely I am just lukewarm on it. So there you go. Just my two cents.

I still love the boys of course.

Oh, and Anselm, well put (in all your posts).
quote:
Originally posted by Anselm:
[qb]
quote:
An ignorant music critic who makes his money telling masses of people what he thinks using no substantial backing, or two people who have spent their lives doing what they love, and making a heck of a product out of it, at no ones expense?
You describe him as ignorant, I'd say that he just sees it his way and you see it yours. He said he would have liked to hear something less predictable from the Finns, and I can understand that. His 'substantial backing' includes many years listening to music and writing editorial comment. Note: I don't agree with him, but I understand his reasoning. If he thinks the music and style is similar to what he's heard before, so be it. If he predicted that this record would sound exactly as it does before he played it and was proved right, then perhaps he's found a grain of truth. His ears, his call. As we are fans of the Finns' music and many of us analyse and intepret their tunes and lyrics to the Nth degree, I would claim that each new album release is likely to be far more important to us than it is to Andy Gill, who simply has the task of saying if he likes it or not in a few simple lines, after a few plays. He reviews records every week...compared to a web-based community who idolise the Finns, why would he be likely to analyse it in any greater detail? He has nothing to gain from a bad review. [/qb]
Just in case you missed the line in my first post about the review, I called myself "The Great Finn Defender". I am here on this post not to bore myself and others with common sense talk. Like Sevenworlds said: none of us are naive enough to not know what a music critic is or to think that he doesn't have the right to his opinion.

And that is why I say, the entire paragraph that you wrote to up there is pretty much common sense, and, a waste of breath.

A battle of wits is fun at times on the forum, but your lengthy explanations, comebacks of quotes and textbook definitions are tiresome, when, I think the rest of us will agree, we just want to talk about Finn! And defending them is what we do! Si, o no? Smiler
One thing I keep seeing over and over in nearly every review of this album is the mention of how it deals with 'middle-aged topics' - as if this were a bad thing.

A significant chunk of life is spent after one's youth. Is doesn't mean you're dead, or even necessarily that you're past it....it just means you are no longer chronologically young.

Why is it verboten to deal with this portion of life in pop music?

(Or are we all just supposed to roll over and play dead once we reach a certain age?)
Brownie, you bring up a good point. Some critics seem to believe that once you've been around a while or reach a certain age, you're a has-been (read "old").

Some of the topics appearing on the new album are ones not often addressed in rock music, which could be considered as refreshing.

However, this reviewer (and some others) seems not to find that to be the case, right or wrong.
I find some of the comments in this thread defending Andy Gill's daming review of the album bizarre.

Of course every critic is entitled to their opinion. But by the same token, it is only naturnal for members of a Finn Brothers fan forum to want to defend the Finns if they feel the criticism is unjustified.

I personally found the review derogatory and ill-informed. The last line in particular is just a cheap shot: "It would be nice if, once in a while, they could suggest that growing older wasn't such a grim prospect." I've listned to the album many times and can't pin-point even one song that suggests growing old is a grim prospect.
quote:
Just in case you missed the line in my first post about the review, I called myself "The Great Finn Defender". I am here on this post not to bore myself and others with common sense talk. Like Sevenworlds said: none of us are naive enough to not know what a music critic is or to think that he doesn't have the right to his opinion.

And that is why I say, the entire paragraph that you wrote to up there is pretty much common sense, and, a waste of breath.

A battle of wits is fun at times on the forum, but your lengthy explanations, comebacks of quotes and textbook definitions are tiresome, when, I think the rest of us will agree, we just want to talk about Finn! And defending them is what we do! Si, o no?
I would really much rather that this topic stayed focused on Andy Gill�s opinion of the album, rather than lowered to the level of personal abuse, which is what your post above amounts to. I don�t believe that YOUR opinion is �a waste of breath� or �tiresome� � but these are terms which you are content to level at me in public view. In fact I welcome your views, and anyone else�s. Dignified, frank, discussion is what makes a for a forum. Name-calling and insults do not belong here. I�m sure that the majority of people reading this thread enjoy a balanced and well-rounded exchange of views, so if you want to continue in this vein, please email me or PM and I will be more than happy to answer your criticisms of my posting style, opinions, thoughts and rationale.

In final response to your comments, you set yourself up as �The Great Finn Defender�....your own description. You also said in your first post �Man, I just can�t stand people who are mean to my Finn�. I take this to mean that you simply take an instant dislike to anyone who offers criticism of them or their music. And that you will not listen to anything other than praise for them. I think this prevents you from being capable of having open-minded discussions of disputed opinions, so is there any point in continuing with this? But if you�re ready, I am.

As for �I think the rest of us will agree, we just want to talk about Finn! And defending them is what we do!� - I don�t think that you act a spokesperson for the �rest of us� i.e. the whole Frenz Forum community. I think others are quite capable of deciding what they want to talk about, and defend the Finns or not. Have a read back through the posts in this thread, and see whether or not everyone is in agreement with your views. I think you�ll find that opinion is divided � so let others speak for themselves.
quote:
Originally posted by Mlee Marie:
[qb]
A battle of wits is fun at times on the forum, but your lengthy explanations, comebacks of quotes and textbook definitions are tiresome, when, I think the rest of us will agree, we just want to talk about Finn! And defending them is what we do! Si, o no? Smiler [/qb]
I'm sorry, but I disagree. First off, we *are* talking about Finn - in a respectful manner that can see many different opinions, perspectives and reads on Finn music. I'd much rather read a forum full of constructive, well thought out discussions than a forum where only glowing raves, and "defending" of an artist just because they are who they are, are acceptable. Defending them is not "what we do." What we do is listen to them, and appreciate them in the way that best fits our lives, tastes and situations.

I appreciate your intense desire to defend the Finns from negative reviews - but I also appreciate the desire of others to talk seriously about the new album - or any musical work - on what they perceive to be its own merits and/or shortcomings. You seem to be taking any less than 100% positive opinions about EIH (and you'll find a wide variety of opinions even among the Finn fans here) very personally, which I do not think is the intent. Those who have responded to you here have been respectful to you even if they disagree with you; please return the favor.

On the actual topic, w/r/t the "midlife" album: It's clear to me at age 31 that EIH is in large part a lyrical musing on the middle of a life - but I definitely do not think that that's a negative. In fact, I think that's one of the things I find most touching, thought-provoking and inspiring about this set of songs. There's a lot to look forward to in life, and the reviewer's apparent assumption that life ends at, say, 30 when you've grown out of "sex, drugs, and whatever" is at best ignorant and at worst insulting to about 75% of the population.

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