Monday, November 10, 2008
favorite songs of 2008, #5 of 30: liam finn's "better to be"
Liam Finn and Basia Bulat are squarely tied for the title of my favorite new singer-songwriter of the year.  But more on Bulat later; today feels like a Finn sort of day. The son of Crowded House's Neil Finn, Liam Finn is a one-man band whose songs are reminiscent of Elliott Smith but without the despondent, suicidal cries for help. Which is not to say that there isn't an element of sadness in I'll Be Lightning - an album Finn says he was inspired to write after a heartbreaking breakup. Loss is a reoccurring motif in Finn's lyrics, and is a feeling that occasionally bleeds into his melodies as well. But despite its painful point of inspiration, the songs on this album are melodic, layered and pretty without being particularly mopey, and some - like "Lead Balloon," for example - are downright rockin'.

I realize this post sounds more like an album review than a discussion of just one song, but there's a reason for that.  It's because I love I'll Be Lightning. I just love it *so* much. It's a lock for one of my favorite albums of the year, and so very Mrs. White. Thus, choosing one song to post on was a bit of a feat, but since I lurve the video for "Better to Be," it's the song that won out. Cheers, punks.

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Blogger Carrie said...

I definitely liked this album, but obviously not as much as you did. I couldn't remember which song this was until I clicked play, when I was like, "Oh yeah, this is a really good song". Basically, I should put this album back in the rotation.

I think one of the most interesting things about Liam Finn is watching him live, and how he recreates these songs with minimal people surrounding him. Fun to watch.

Blogger MB said...

There are some many reasons I like you, Maggie, but your love for all things Crowded House may be at the top of the list. I like this song and I should get the album.

I've seen Liam Finn in concert. He opened for Crowded House last year. Watching him reminded me of Joseph Arthur, in the way that he has to create his loops first. It is very fun to watch.

Blogger Mrs. White said...

Aw shucks, MB. I like you too. ;)

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