Craig Finn: We All Want the Same Things review – master storyteller gets personal

(Partisan Records)

Craig Finn loves filling his music with stories. So much so, you suspect that if the Hold Steady vocalist ever tried his hand at a minimalist techno album he’d still manage to cram the thing full of themes, characters and slowly unfolding plots. As it is, his third solo album, We All Want the Same Things, sticks to the earthy indie of the rest of his non-Hold Steady output, lacking some of his main band’s last-orders rumbustiousness but sharing the same spirit of blue-collar romanticism.

As ever, there are plenty of character studies – of lovers and barflies and drug dealers – but there’s also a sense of Finn mining his own past for narrative detail. The delicate Preludes taps into the alienation he felt returning home after college and finding that “things had progressed and got strange”, while the spoken-word centrepiece God in Chicago conveys the excitement and terror of moving to a new city. A deeply personal work from a master storyteller.

Watch video of We All Want the Same Things Living Room tour


Gwilym Mumford

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Craig Finn: Clear Heart Full Eyes – review

Craig Finn's new understated style for his solo debut emphasises his marvellous storytelling, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

19, Jan, 2012 @10:10 PM

Article image
The Hold Steady: Thrashing Thru the Passion review – chancers and chasers in fist-punching glory
Craig Finn’s barstool-rock raconteurs paint a portrait of booze-soaked Americana with their most enthralling record in years

Al Horner

16, Aug, 2019 @9:00 AM

Article image
Neil and Liam Finn: Lightsleeper review – father and son pour out the melodies
The ex-Crowded House man and his son are adept with the tunes, but sometimes this ends up being as frustrating as it is pleasurable

Michael Hann

24, Aug, 2018 @9:30 AM

Article image
Craig Finn: Faith in the Future review – warm, character-driven solo outing
The Hold Steady frontman’s new record is laden with existentialism and quiet consideration

Harriet Gibsone

10, Sep, 2015 @8:15 PM

The Felice Brothers/Craig Finn – review
Finn's barbed, intense storytelling chimes well with the Felice Brothers' emotional intelligence and musical virtuosity, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

21, Mar, 2012 @6:05 PM

Article image
Travis: Everything at Once review – the same old harmless jangle

Tim Jonze

28, Apr, 2016 @9:00 PM

Article image
Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains: Solide Mirage review – indiepop gets political

Kate Hutchinson

02, Mar, 2017 @10:45 PM

Article image
Clare Maguire: Stranger Things Have Happened review – classy retro pop

Rachel Aroesti

26, May, 2016 @8:20 PM

Article image
Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon: Same Language, Different Worlds review – beguiling and beautiful

Dave Simpson

08, Sep, 2016 @8:30 PM

Article image
Angel Olsen: My Woman review – beautiful songs full of things to pore over

Tom Hughes

01, Sep, 2016 @8:30 PM