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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. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Imaginary Kingdom - This song makes perfect use of the elements that have been used throughout this album, and is probably my second favorite after Out of This World. It has a beautiful melody, I love the understated melancholy violin, and Tim sounds great. But....I don’t think the bridge suits the rest of the song.

    StefanWq, therunner, ToneM and 5 others like this.
  2. jcr64

    jcr64 Forum Resident

    "Imaginary Kingdom" is another good but not great song on an album full of them. It could use an extra something. I think the bridge is meant to supply that something, but the change of pace and tone doesn't resonate with me.

    I wish I weren't so busy these days, because I'v enjoyed delving into The Conversation and wish I could give it a bit more attention,.

    StefanWq, therunner, ToneM and 6 others like this.
  3. ToneM

    ToneM Forum Resident

    Birmingham, UK
    Imaginary Kingdom

    Between this and Say It Is So, Tim really likes to confuse on song and album titles. I think this track would've been a better fit for Imaginary Kingdom, as it shares the bombast (or at least potential for) that turned me off that album. The Conversation is an album of admirable subtlety, especially by Tim's standards, so the chorus and bridge feel rather bludgeoning in comparison to the rest of the record. As @HitAndRun remarked, that's one seriously long fade out for a short song. Taken in isolation it's not a bad song, just a little Tim by numbers for my taste.

    jcr64, KangaMom, StefanWq and 5 others like this.
  4. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Very sad news. to hear in the midst of this album discussion.

    It's a pity he isn't in NZ at this time; hopefully he can and will receive the vaccine very soon.
    KangaMom likes this.
  5. This is a really interesting one because its such a departure from the love song undercurrent of the album, instead being about a (desperate?) plea to someone who seems to have disappeared up their own rear end. I really like the tune and the way it goes lyrically through the first chorus, but then it sort of seems to peter out for me. If the last two minutes of the song held my attention the way the first minute did, I would rate this really high.

    KangaMom, StefanWq, jcr64 and 7 others like this.
  6. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Jacksonville, FL
    “Imaginary Kingdom” - Also known as the “definitely not the title track” song. I agree with @ToneM that it’s a little “Tim by numbers” sounding, but it’s still and enjoyable song.

    Tim sings it well and I don’t have any specific issue with any of the instrumentation. The electric guitar stands out, but I like the way the acoustic sounds here as well, as basic as it may be.

    And yeah, you do get a great “bang for your buck” here if you fancy a long outro. I don’t mind it because I like the atmospheric of the electric guitar, but it does run a bit long.

    KangaMom, StefanWq, brownie61 and 6 others like this.
  7. Blackbear

    Blackbear Well-Known Member

    Wilmington DE
    Imaginary Kingdom

    Absolutely beautiful - delicate, like a piece of porcelain. I love how it almost stops half way through and then picks up the strands. Everything is great about this song: lyrically, melody, arrangement, mixing - only drawback is it is too short!
    KangaMom, StefanWq, brownie61 and 6 others like this.
  8. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    "Imaginary Kingdom" is a fine song but it doesn't hit the grand heights of "Great Return" or the other top songs on this album. I do like the organ part in that brief bridge - that bridge is the highlight of the song for me. Solid album track but not a standout on this album.

    KangaMom, drewrclv9, StefanWq and 6 others like this.
  9. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    As others have said, I prefer the chorus to the verse of "Imaginary Kingdom", which is unusual for Tim's songs as I normally prefer his verses. The violin intro is sublime but the bridge sounds out of place, so the whole song is a mixture of hits & misses. Overall a good album track but nothing special. On an album of better songs in the same style/tempo this one doesn't stand out at all.

    jcr64, KangaMom, drewrclv9 and 5 others like this.
  10. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    I think Tim's phrasing abandoned him on Imaginary Kingdom, it takes the song down a few notches for me.

    jcr64, KangaMom, drewrclv9 and 4 others like this.
  11. Michael Rofkar

    Michael Rofkar Forum Resident

    Santa Rosa, CA
    Another good but not great song, it stands out because of the guitar work (love that outro) and the violin. Tim's voice sounds very good. 3.8/5
  12. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Vallentuna, Sweden
    "Imaginary Kingdom" is a very strong album track, with a melancholy fragility in the music combined with dark undertones in the lyrics. The king of the inaginary kingdom sounds like someone who is out of touch with reality in a dangerous way and hearing this song on this very day, when it is being debated if a certain president in a big country south of Canada should be impeached, some of the lines in the song could be about him (though obviously they are not).
    As usual on this album, Miles Golding's violin playing gives the song a unique character and Tim's singing is top notch.
    The song does lose some focus towards the end though.
    therunner, jcr64, ToneM and 6 others like this.
  13. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Imaginary Kingdom - Such a delicate piece of melancholy. Like many of the songs on this album, the music has really great atmosphere. In fact, if I take on board what @Paul H has mentioned above, however I think he has constructed the musical atmosphere around his main lyrical phrase, so I guess the inverse of what @Paul H said. There is just a great atmosphere of fragility and folly about this song. Again, excellent contributions from Miles and Brett and Tim's vocal really does sell the idea of regret.

    I'm with @HitAndRun - I wish the song were a little longer. I'm pretty much immersed in the song and that great last section and then it ends just as I was expecting more song! That's probably the only disappointment with this song to be honest. I wish there was just a bit more of it. I do think this song does a nice job of setting up the last 2 songs of the album.

    Yes, it is rather puzzling this penchant for putting title tracks on the subsequent album!

    Many thanks @HitAndRun for posting a link to Miles Golding (in his day job). I'd looked for his work before and wasn't quite sure where to start listening.

    StefanWq, therunner, jcr64 and 6 others like this.
  14. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I do think it is a song about narcissism, but what strikes me is the pure emotion of it, there's a pleading tone in the chorus that just brings just a really direct current of emotion coming from his mouth to my brain, there's real sympathy in the song: I see it as being about himself (and by extension anyone with narcissistic tendencies, which is quite common and celebrated in the age of instagram era, and how love and family brings him back down to earth.

    Tim's emotional problems may have been healed over time, through therapy, through family and through his religious routines, but some people's never will.
    factory44, StefanWq, jcr64 and 3 others like this.
  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Imaginary Kingdom"
    Average: 3.8733
    StefanWq, jcr64 and KangaMom like this.
  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Forever Thursday", written by Tim Finn and produced by Ethan Allen and Eddie Rayner; engineered and mixed by Ethan Johns.


    Tim Finn: vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion
    Brett Adams: acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
    Miles Golding violin
    Eddie Rayner: keyboards, percussion
    Wayne Bell: drums
    Diane Swann: vocals

    Note: Tim said that this song came "barrelling through" at the last moment after the album was being finished and was quickly recorded; it was inspired by a "row with Marie" and concerns their first date, in which he sang to her "Tin Solider", by the Small Faces, which was her favorite song.
  17. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Jacksonville, FL
    "Forever Thursday" - A nice little pop song that brings a little pep to an otherwise somber album. This is the most immediate and catchy song on here, and I've always liked it. It's another song where the violin really shines, but I also quite like Brett's country-tinged guitar during the second verse and towards the end. I like Tim's lyrics here, as well.

    It kind of sounds like a stripped down version of a song that could have been on Say it is So (I half expect Tim to bust into a 'distorted vocal middle 8' at any moment throughout the song), which certainly isn't a bad thing considering the quality of that album. It has that sound so much to me, that sometimes when I run the song through my head, and can't immediately remember the main violin hook that comes post-chorus, I substitute it with the main hook from "Death of a Popular Song." It fits perfectly. Only problem with that is once I'm mentally on the "Death of a Popular Song" hook, there's no getting back to this song without starting over. It's like a train changing tracks. :D

    The only thing I have a bit of gripe over is how right as the middle 8 ends, the violin comes in so abruptly. It needs another couple beats to my ears, but I guess it also works how it is, in a certain way.

    factory44, StefanWq, robcar and 8 others like this.
  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    And on the 12th day, the LORD said "let there be drums; for my ears want a rhythm"; and in THE midst of the deep, began the SOUND of drums. And lo, it WAS good.

    It does sound like "Death of a Popular song" -- not he same vocal melody more like the vocal melody of the verses sounds a bit like the lead guitar on that song.
    This sort of country-ish folk-pop is sort of a good sound for Tim, though; it sounds natural, unforced; and I suppose that it's a road I wish he had gone down more often rather than the R&B excursions he went on.

    I like the song, I think the lyric is cute and I like the general sound: the guitars and fiddles and the backing vocals. This one seems more "produced" than some of the other songs, to me. Have to wonder if EMI wasn't putting some pressure on Tim for an upbeat song; and this sounds like "the single".

    It's very welcome bit of sunshine on the album and I like it a lot 5/5
  19. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Forever Thursday

    Right back at the start of the album the question was raised as to which song other than Straw to Gold could have been a better song to start the album with. In some ways this song could be that better first song. But, the problem would be that it would create an expectation of a different album. Having this uptempo song being followed by all the rest of the songs would create an expectation of fuller arrangements, which would then be dashed.

    It's a straightforward pop song, with fairly straightforward lyrics. Though, knowing it's about Tim's first date with Marie adds additional meaning. The melody is fine - a nice melody, without being outstanding in the context of Tim's oeuvre. Perhaps the middle 8 doesn't fit the rest of the song so well.

    Arrangement wise it's very normal which makes it unusual on this album. As well as the drums which everyone has mentioned, there's also bass. And, Brett is playing acoustic guitar as well, resulting in some more technical acoustic guitar playing.

    It's a very good song, but I don't see it as excellent or

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  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Just me, actually. .
    jcr64 and HitAndRun like this.
  21. Paul H

    Paul H The fool on the hill

    Nottingham, UK
    I like Forever Thursday a lot. I like it's jauntiness, I like the lyric. Probably my second-favourite song on the album. 4/5.
    StefanWq, drewrclv9, jcr64 and 4 others like this.
  22. ToneM

    ToneM Forum Resident

    Birmingham, UK
    Excellent timing for Forever Thursday @Lance LaSalle

    Although it does stick out like a sore thumb, it's great to have such a catchy upbeat number to round out the album, before the last word of More Fool Me. Confused now, is that opening Miles' violin or fiddle? Either way, it's gorgeous, and the album could've used more of it. I'm not technical when it comes to identifying instruments, it all sounds like one lovely smushed up noise to my hard of hearing ears.

    Presume "the words of a song were made real" are referring to Tin Soldier, but reading through those lyrics, it'd make a worrying foundation for any relationship. Appreciate it's Marie's favourite song, but if somebody song this to me on a first date, I'd be asking for the bill.

    "I don't need no aggravation
    I just got to make you my occupation
    I got to know that I belong to you
    Do anything that you want to do"

    And pretty sure a bird hitting the window is generally considered a bad omen... Still, as first date's go, it turned out alright in the end.

    This tune puts a smile on my face every time I hear it, so I'll break with .5 tradition...

  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Not sure what is the difference? Isn't a fiddle just a violin that's had too much to drink?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    JCo, StefanWq, jimbutsu and 7 others like this.
  24. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Forever Thursday - This has cute lyrics that make me smile. The song itself is pleasant but unremarkable.

    Is this the first use of “eggplant parmigiana” in a song? :D Sounds yummy!

    JCo, StefanWq, therunner and 5 others like this.
  25. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Now I have to hope that everyone from now on mentions the drums so that I can claim that I'm clairvoyant. :D

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