Reflective groove and melancholia
After five albums with [a]The Hold Steady[/a], [a]Craig Finn[/a] has stepped away from the Brooklyn bar-room rockers for his first solo effort. With his distinctive drawl, it’s difficult to listen to ‘Clear Heart Full Eyes’ and hear anything but another Hold Steady album, but Finn certainly takes a paddle – if not quite a dive – into fresh sonic waters. There are impressive flirtations with melancholia (‘Western Pier’, ‘Not Much Left Of Us’) and the slow shuffle of ‘Apollo Bay’, a prog take on Smog’s reflective groove. Meanwhile, the acoustic ‘New Friend Jesus’ sees him swap his New York strut for downhome Southern swagger.