Craig Finn
Clear Heart Full Eyes


3.5
great

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
January 16th, 2012 | 40 replies | 6,958 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...the hero that you are when no one's watching.

If Craig Finn's reflection in the beer bottles round The Hold Steady's table is one of stuttering animation and brief moments of clarity, removed from his band he appears considerably less cavalier, content to interject when the conversation fades or the protagonists of his stories pause to take another drag of their cigarettes. Not that his storytelling lacks any of its usual incision - every line feels just as lived-in as ever - but on Clear Heart Full Eyes he falls into his music slightly, allowing its more laid-back tone to do a little bit of the talking for him, and leaving more unsaid in general.

The songs situate themselves later in the evening, after all the explosions, when the thinking's done and the buzz is wearing off. Their guitars rumble and dip, considerably less urgent and punchy than those of his full-time band, and Finn sounds suitably contemplative; there is an ambience to this record which replaces the exuberant atmosphere he usually finds himself amongst, and his shouts follow the same dampened curve, though they never drop anywhere close to whispers.

The effects of this change of pace and tone are twofold; the characters Finn laments get more space in which to grow, away from the panicked chords of Hold Steady anthems, but they also find themselves with a shakier raison d'ĂȘtre - whether you can find somewhere for these songs to go depends on your own mental construction of these people and their scenery. It drifts, at points, but not without a deep chord to make you wonder, and though its transitions sometimes feel slightly misplaced, it's no form of posturing; Clear Heart Full Eyes is entirely at ease with itself, rarely forcing the issue beyond the gently affecting, but
affecting is definitely the right word. It goes down smooth.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.4
great
recommended by reviewer
The Horrible Crowes Elsie

Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
January 16th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ya can stream this at

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/15/144960565/first-listen-craig-finn-clear-heart-full-eyes

- it's lovely.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2012



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmmm I may give this a go. I can't pretend to be a fan of The Hold Steady.

letsgofishing
January 16th 2012



901 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't know Finn had a solo career...

excited for this. Hold Steady is one hell of a band.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 16th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He didn't until now!

Knott-
Emeritus
January 16th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ali, this is so much more your thing than THS is - although still not sure how much.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2012



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok, I'll give it a go, The Horrible Crowes rec is promising.

Satellite
January 16th 2012



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck yeah, need to hear this. jackson is a pretty sweet song and any sputniker who doesn't listen to the hold steady is a disappointment.

good review mr. knott.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Knott-
Emeritus
January 16th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jackson is one of my least favourite songs on the record.

Satellite
January 16th 2012



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool cool. that's just the only one i've heard so far. i dig the quintessential finn callback ("the back half of the theatre"). i know a lot of people get sick of the self-referencing and shit but i like it.

wabbit
January 16th 2012



6988 Comments


oh shit...did knott know this leaked. Can you hook me up with the link?



But ya I love the self-referencing really adds to the world they build.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 16th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's streaming MILES.

letsgofishing
January 16th 2012



901 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"oh shit...did knott know this leaked."

nice pun. props.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 16th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You must be new here.

wabbit
January 16th 2012



6988 Comments


...it's an awful pun I should probably be banned for it.


I hate streams.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012



6438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He has a solo career???
Must get!

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2012



6438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, is that release date correct? Or should it be 2012?

Knott-
Emeritus
January 17th 2012



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2012, obviously. Clearly, I'm stuck in the past.

BigHans
January 17th 2012



26455 Comments


weird that I didnt even know this was coming out will jam for sure Hold Steady are the best band ever.

BigHans
January 17th 2012



26455 Comments


and Christ KNott youre a good writer.

NeutralThunder12
January 17th 2012



8742 Comments


knott you are one of the best writers on this site. Never dug The Hold Steady much but this is sounding pre cool



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