Finnish Line

Artist
Release Date
Score
7.00
The gist Jim goes all McCartney on your ass The music It's hard to listen to this album without thinking of The Beatles, specifically their alternately soppy/psychotic bassist Paul. This album is so beatlesey its practically calling you groovy and giving you a double thumbs up. There's dreamy druggy garage ("Strange Range"), LSD trippy ("Make Me Do It Again"), ye olde English yarns ("Honour & Moodswings") and lovely grand piano ballads ("Stone Cold Room"). And then there's the production courtesy of Noir and engineer Tim Thomas which has that cosy, yet troubled feel of Let It Be, the Beatles at their bitter end. Noir actually sees this as "the final chapter in the Jim Noir story", whatever that may mean, so maybe there's another connection to be made.  Rewind two year to Noir's last album, Jimmy's Show, and you'll hear a man in breezy, carefree spirits, quite a world away from the focused, borderline serious Jim Noir of 2014. This one starts off as a "no strings" whimsical jaunt but gradually builds up melancholy on its journey, ending on a profound and beautiful low (which is actually a high). Along the way, Noir flexes his typically retro songwriting muscles to write some of the best material of his career, haunting and welcoming in equal measure. Hopefully this isn't the end of Jim, after-all he does admit that "Yes. I'll do another album if it gets into the charts" with typical deadpan aplomb. Who knows? Stranger things have happened. Listen to "Piece of Mind" - One of the more playful tracks on Finnish Line. A simple early-Beatles balled with a strange final third that wouldn't get anywhere near an early-Beatles record. "Stone Cold Room" - There's definitely still a Let It Be influence running through this track, the album's undisputed masterpiece, but I'd be more inclined to compare it to a late 60s Beach Boys tune. Possibly one that Brain wrote and got Dennis to sing. It's THAT good. Listen if...you like The Beatles, Paul McCartney, early Oasis, The Beach Boys.