Review Summary: More of us should be talking about Fink's Hard Believer.
All hail the introspective album! The collection of songs that refuses to be background music. The all-elaborate emotion-inducing instrumentation, and the all-too honest lyricism that pulls at your heartstrings. That self-created moment of staring into space while your thoughts are snared into a musical blender. Time slows to a crawl; Your mind races.
For those who wish these moments could carry on just a little longer, Fink's Hard Believer
provides. An acoustically driven wander at 55 minutes, Fink (or Fin Greenall) traverses on a beaten path through some of life's more faltering moments. The London-based artist has been sporting a more mature, weathered look himself as of late, which is interestingly in semblance with the at times more rugged nature of his new album. Perhaps that isn't mere coincidence.
Either way, Greenall and company let their experience shine on some fairly memorable tracks. Green and the Blue
moves like water lapping on rocks. Beautifully sustained chords are hand-strummed over some ambient texture, before the drums and bass kick in to add some real back bone. It all finishes off in a soothing fashion, as the ambiance simmers over some backing vocals. Shakespeare
has an intriguing lyrical concept, and an unconventionally pleasing chorus. Fin speaks of being taught so much from the author and characters we all know, yet really learning nothing in the end of what it is to love. Truth Begins
builds and grows in layers, a stark testament to the capability of how this band sounds when they're on. Then comes Looking Too Closely
, an apt choice for a single and a tension builder like no other. Simple and consonant chord progressions, along with Fink's sober and earnest vocal delivery make this 5-minute track an epic to behold. Its sound hits like a breeze between seasons. Its mood and message hit like a truck.
Hard Believer is easy to call great. Front to back, it sounds organic, and its character reverberates. Greenall's voice compliments his group's efforts tremendously. Through this, however, the scope of high to dull points becomes a distraction. There is nothing overly gripping about the bluesy opener and album title track. White flag
push on a bit longer than needed. The wait for that next serene moment may have one tapping their foot. Yet some may find these details unobjectionable. Those people wishing for that extra moment of reflection will easily speak of Fink's latest with admiration. It is an album that certainly stimulates soul searching, and in that regard, some will just be generally uninterested. In any case of what one's final verdict is, speaking of Hard Believer
is something more of us should be doing, because it has an uncanny ability to prompt a discussion between you and yourself.