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Stranger than Fiction, Larger Than Life: the Finn Brothers song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    OK, it was a ****-ton of snow based on that link you provided...and well it's no picnic to drive I-90 or I-94 with drifting snow.
     
  2. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    On a side note, I think I have managed to get a copy of "The Conversation" on CD. It appears to be a promo copy - so no booklet. Still I guess I'll find out in about 3 weeks when it arrives from Melbourne courtesy of ebay.

    On the other hand I have my sister now actively seeking a released copy with a booklet also, because I'd really prefer that version.
     
  3. Michael Rofkar

    Michael Rofkar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    In that 2008 interview BeSteVenn linked to, there is mention of a new Split Enz album and tour being in the works. That obviously didn't happen, but does anyone know details about the project? Also, I'm confused how Tim could have a song on the album he was touring that describes an event that took place during the tour. Am I missing something?

    "Snowbound" is nice and short, which is the best I can say about it. The singing isn't too on key, as other have observed. 2.5/5
     
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  4. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    As I understand it he was touring Imaginary Kingdom. Snowbound originated after he got stuck in Milwaukee during that tour.
     
  5. Michael Rofkar

    Michael Rofkar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Of course, that makes sense. I thought he might have toured the 2008 album the same year. Thank you KangaMom!
     
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  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    He toured the US in early 2008 to further promote Imaginary Kingdom. That’s when he got “snowbound.”

    The Conversation was released in November but was not released in the US. He never really toured the US at all after early 2008. He had a few dates in 2012 or so but they were cancelled.
     
    Michael Rofkar, KangaMom and StefanWq like this.
  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Snowbound"

    1-0
    2-1
    3-5
    4-6
    5-2
    Average: 3.7929
     
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  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Great Return", written by Tim Finn and produced by Eddie Rayner and Ethan Allen; engineered and mixe by Ethan Allen.

    Lyric.

    Tim Finn: vocal, acoustic guitar
    Eddie Rayner: Piano
    Miles Golding: violin
    Brett Adams: guitar.
     
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  9. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    "Great Return" - The violin really drives the folk sound here. It wouldn't be nearly as effective of a song without it. That chorus holds a wonderful melody; I don't ever get tired of hearing it throughout the song. The verses in contrast strike me as a bit forgettable, but I think it's because I like the chorus so much.

    There's also something about Tim's voice on this song that I really like. I think his style of singing on this track fits the song's general feel, which overall sounds like it could be a cover of an old folk song from a hundred years ago. Really lovely.

    4/5
     
    StefanWq, ToneM, KangaMom and 5 others like this.
  10. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    For me, "Great Return" is the highlight of the album and one of Tim's best ever songs. I rate it right up there with "Salt To The Sea". I could hear Gordon Lightfoot doing this one - for some reason, it reminds me of his classic early 1970s work. Just a lovely song.

    5/5
     
    KangaMom, jcr64, BeSteVenn and 4 others like this.
  11. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Well, it's very much in the vein of the turn of the century musical hall folk that Tim loves: this is, in fact, both lyrically and musically the MOST folky song I think Tim has ever done. The melody has some very traditionalist phrases -- and the words too seem very much rooted in a folk sensibility: Robcar says Gordon Lightfoot, who I'm not too familiar with but I'm sure that's right..Bob Dylan...early Tom Waits...even Billy Joel or Tim's hero Ray Davies: all of them have work in this vein. And Tim's craftsmanship is first rate: mainly the lyric is well done, and Tim sounds exceptionally good singing this. The sweeping barroom waltz of it is quite nice and the violin led arrangement is enough to keep me interested: this kind of retro musical hall is not my favorite genre --I prefer the more blues-tinged slightly country, down home folk of the last song -- but Tim does it well.

    I might as well give it a 4.5, docked just a bit for purely subjective reaasons.
     
    therunner, ToneM, KangaMom and 6 others like this.
  12. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Great Return

    I was quite surprised to see the high scores for this. Music appreciation is highly subjective of course, but personally I just can't see this as one of Tim's greatest ever songs. To me it is one of the lesser songs on the album.

    To me, the lyrics don't seem that wonderful, the phrase 'the sellers of lies could hardly wait to begin' sounds a bit clumsy to me.

    The arrangement is fairly nice, but unexceptional, with Miles' violin being the high point.

    Tim sings it fine - no better but no worse than other songs on the album.

    3.0/5
     
  13. ToneM

    ToneM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Great Return

    Tim's dabbled in Celtic sounds before, with ALT and on Mary of the South Seas, yet Great Return is probably his most overt stab at a traditional Irish folk pastiche. It's a tough one to pull off without veering into parody, but Tim's sincerity shines through. A warm, inviting melody in the old tradition, one to raise a glass and sway along to.

    4/5
     
  14. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Great Return - This is a great song with wonderful, touching lyrics about being welcomed with open arms by loved ones after having strayed. But it needs to be in a lower key, because it sounds like Tim is straining to hit a lot of the notes. His voice makes it a little difficult to listen to, especially at the end. My score would be higher if I didn’t find myself cringing at times because of his voice.

    3/5
     
  15. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Great Return - For sure this is the most folk oriented song on the album. It's interesting to read the other comments to get the different reads on the song. My original reaction to the song is that it was more of a straight americana folk song but now that it's been mentioned I can definitely hear the Celtic influence and that music hall influence.

    I do like the waltz feel to this song and it does feel like an old song, maybe it's the phrase Great Return that emphasizes that. The violin is lovely and carries the entire song. I'm a bit on the fence with the verses - maybe it's because the chorus is so dominant that it's easy to let the verses recede - but I've never paid much attention to them.

    Although I do like this song in the context of the album, I don't necessarily find that I respond to it as a stand-alone song. I do think Tim is straining a bit on the high notes towards the end of the song, after what had been a very good vocal on the song to that point. I almost think it was intentional to have that strained sound but I could be wrong about that.

    So in short, if I was rating this song in the context of the album it would get a 4/5
    but standing alone it would probably be a 3.7/5.

    (Sorry @Lance LaSalle for hedging my score...)
     
  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    No, it's fine, :) but I'll go with 3.7.
     
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  17. jcr64

    jcr64 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    "Great Return" has a nice, traditional melody and arrangement. It's a good song but not, for me, one of the best on the album--I think it plods a bit. Still, above average.

    3.5/5
     
  18. I don't *dislike* this, but it doesn't do anything special for me either. It's funny, because I usually am really drawn to 3/4 - 6/8 stuff, but this just sort of falls flat. Tim's voice breaking a fair bit on this doesn't help; there's times when that can add weight or emotion, but in this case it just feels a little distracting. The topic of losing our way and being pulled back is a good one, but lyrically there's no fresh take on it here.

    3/5
     
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  19. Paul H

    Paul H The fool on the hill

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    I'm usually a sucker for waltzes. You do well to come up with one I don't like. Hats off to Tim. I think one of the things that really turns me off is the line "and I made a great return". What? Is he playing tennis or something? It sounds like another case of him coming up with a phrase he liked the sound of and trying to wrap a lyric around it. Ordinarily I'd let duff lyrics pass (I am, after all a massive McCartney fan) but in this case there's nothing here to redeem the song.

    Another 2/5.
     
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  20. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    I just literally broke out laughing out loud when I read this!
     
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  21. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    Great Return reminds me of a latter day Mark Knopfler Celtic ballad in waltz time ... most of which I am not so fond. Tim's vocal here is just right for the lyric and the wistfulness of the arrangement, but I can't get away from its biggest redeeming quality being that it gives some variety to the album. Luckily it doesn't drag the adjacent songs down, or the whole album.

    3/5
     
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  22. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I generally like folk-rock as a musical style but less so when it strays too much into traditional folk, which I feel Tim does here. Combine that with waltz time and it makes 2 turn offs. Also it's not helped by being unfortunately sequenced right after another song I didn't like much.

    2/5
     
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  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

  24. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    They should stream this around the world. I’d buy a ticket.

    Oh right, NZ’ers don’t have to stream concerts because they can have actual audiences. :realmad:

    Rust Never Sleeps loomed large in my youth. Yes, I am so old that I bought this album when it was first released.
     
  25. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    You are not alone in this! :D :D :D
     

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