Published Sep 09, 2015Craig Finn has never shied away from monumental themes in his work, and Faith In The Future doesn't offer any grand deviation from the formula that made him one of his generation's greatest songwriters. But where the Hold Steady's modus operandi is sweeping bar-rock grandiosity, Finn was able to dial the swagger back for Faith In The Future and replace it with nuance, subtlety; sonically, it allows him room to breathe, to let new characters and stories thrive in softer moments.
No one conjures the weight of minutiae or makes microcosmic moments huge better than Finn. His dialogue is crushingly simple and moving, as on "Sandra, Calling From a Hotel": "The last thing she said to me before she hung up the phone was, 'Here he comes, oh god, I gotta go. Here he comes, he's got a gun, I gotta go.'" "Newmyer's Roof" captures snapshots of daily life against the backdrop of watching the towers fall on 9/11, and holding onto the belief that light triumphs.
As the title suggests, there is hope all over the album, a necessary tonic given some of the subject matter. The final track, "I Was Doing Fine (Then a Few People Died)," leaves the listener on an optimistic note, reminding us that even though life can be full of darkness, there are reasons to keep fighting. (Partisan)