Kiwi singer-songwriter aims for outer space but doesn't have quite enough oddness to fuel his journey

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Liam Finn - 'The Nihilist'


Liam Finn – ‘The Nihilist’

Many moments on this, New Zealander Liam Finn’s third full-length solo album, suggest that he fancies himself as a bit of a musical space cadet rather than just another ‘singer-songwriter’. The semi-sprawling ‘Miracle Glance’ swipes sonic chunks from The Flaming Lips’ ‘The Soft Bulletin’, opener ‘Ocean Emmanuelle’ recalls flickers of Bowie’s ‘Ashes To Ashes’, and the lurching ‘Snug As Fuck’ resembles MGMT’s ‘Congratulations’, only without the rubbish drawn-out bits. The problem is, they lack that indefinable sense of genuine oddness that makes those comparators so compelling. It’s melodic, competent stuff, but if you’re going to try and push the crazy buttons you’ve got to go full straitjacket, and Liam Finn is just a tad too straight.

Jamie Fullerton


Record label:Yep Roc
Release date:05 May, 2014