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. jcr64

    jcr64 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    "Snug as ****" is another song that I find easier to admire intellectually than to enjoy aesthetically. This is another song with meticulously crafted production, Liam's and EJ's close harmonies make for an unusual sound, and there are interesting chord changes throughout. I still find it hard to listen to. A big part, once again, is the soundscape, which is airless and overly distorted (honestly, by this point I'm thoroughly sick of overdriven bass). Let's put it this way: like many on these boards, I have a pretty good sound system--not as nice as some, but probably a bit above the mean. Liam's records sound like crap. That may be the intent, that may even be the point, but it's not one I have to appreciate.

    I do like the guitar solo. No comments on the video, as I can't see it.

    2.5/5
     
  2. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Snug As ****" has bits I like and bits I don't, which is something I could say about most of Liam's songs, given that he crams so many different sounds, odd effects, and general production-y stuff into his songs. Often all the extraneous stuff can interfere with the fundamental melody, and too often Liam seems to neglect (or maybe it's deliberate) to put in much of a melody at all. Not the case here though, there is a pleasant melody throughout, but referencing the "payoff" discussion earlier, the song just meanders along without too many traditional-style changes (verse, chorus, middle-8).

    3/5
     
  3. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallentuna, Sweden
    "Snug As ****" is one of my favourite Liam tracks. Here he blends off-kilter artiness and a folk-soul-ish melody into a really captivating soundscape kind of song. It has a sense of mystery about it, both lyrically and musically, and there are a lot of layers in the backing track. The synths add a haunting feel to the song and the vocals are superb.
    4,6/5
     
  4. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    I wish Snug As Fuh would have had a different title, it seems to me that it's an attempt at gaining some cred, and it's unnecessary. If that makes me the thread prude, I can live with that.

    As for the song, it took a couple of listens to start enjoying it, and now I like the song a lot. Liam really got the exact right sound for this, repetitive bass riff and all the chipmunk vocals, too. I can't figure out what the lyrics mean, but they sound good anyway.

    It's got about the weirdest video I can remember ever seeing that didn't have a white horse and fog in it. But this video is weird in a good way.

    4/5
     
  5. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Snug As F***"

    1-0
    2-0
    3-4
    4-4
    5-3
    Average: 3.7455
     
  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Helena Bonham Carter", written by Liam Finn, Elroy Finn, Eliza-Jane Barnes and Jol Mulholland. Produced and recorded by Liam Finn.

    note: there's a gap in music in the video that goes on for a long time; since I know people are going to say that that is a bad thing to do, on the album the gap is no more than a second.

    Liam Finn: vocals, bass, keyboards, drums
    Jol Muholland: piano
    Matt Eccles: cabasa
    Eliza-ane Barnes: vocals

    Liam has said that Elroy was a big fan of the actress Helena Bonham Carter, and EJ Barnes was a big fan of Tim Burton's films.

    The lyrics of this one are pretty hard to make out and online versions are incomplete and in soe cases laughably off ("We won't date girls with hairy girls" was rendered as "we want dagos with hariy arms")

    I've tried but...


    Only setting your tone
    You wanna get a bit high
    I got a foot in the saddle of a dead horse
    You won't get far

    I'm sick of playing you dumb
    I keep an eye on horizons
    We won't be burying books
    And we won't date girls with hairy arms

    Our fever lives in the night
    (It could be anyone, it could be anyone)
    Is it embarrassing to make believe, ah?
    (It could be any of the inferior)
    But if it's love then you'll know on the first sight

    Feeling down in the dumps?
    Go have a cigarette on your own
    I always wait in the dark
    We sleep in separate beds, like Helena Bonham Carter

    Johnny Depp was the junkie
    And poor Helena, she's the heroine
    We're always mocking her friends
    And we won't go out to the bloody end

    Our fever lives in the night
    (It could be anyone, it could be anyone)
    Is it embarrassing to make believe a
    (It could be any of the inferior)
    And if I'm lucky I'll deliver a satirical lie
    (Oh, you'll be lucky I don't know anyone in Hollywood)
    I'm not afraid of anyone, except Death
    (Liar!)

    I'm feeling innocent
    You leave your body at home
    I've never been ...?
    To lead your....?
    I got a tattoo of Annika on my arm
    The stars are an accident
    A fever in my blood

    Our fever lives in the night
    (It could be anyone, it could be anyone)
    Is it embarrassing to make believe, ah,
    (It could be any of the inferior)
    And if I'm lucky I'll deliver a satirical lie
    (Oh, you'll be lucky I don't know anyone in Hollywood)
    I'm not afraid of anyone, except Death
    (Liar!)

    I'm feeling innocent
    You leave your body at home
    I've never been ...?
    To lead your....?
    I got a tattoo of Annika on my arm
    The stars are an accident
    A fever in my blood

    Good lookin' lady with an African baby
    I saw in an advertisement....
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
    BeSteVenn, KangaMom, Anne_G and 3 others like this.
  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Another great Live with the Dream Team on the Roof of [the end]. Definitely not the album version.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  8. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Helena Bonham Carter

    This has a great beat that carries the entire song for me. Unlike in the last track, I like the sound of Liam and EJ singing together on this one. I couldn’t tell you why that sound grates on the last track and sounds more appealing to me here. :shrug:

    I think Helena Bonham Carter (the actress) is great!

    3.5/5
     
  9. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Metro Detroit, MI
    So we're going to go from probably a top 10 Liam solo track in yesterday's song, to a top 3 Liam track in today's. I really love this song. It's fun, quirky, and catchy, though clearly lyrically light and nonsensical. Honestly, though, if you as an artist can create a song that's as catchy and melodically strong as this, you can have a song that has lyrics like The Police's "Masoko Tanga" for all I care (spoiler: it's all nonsense gibberish, but sung melodically).

    The chorus also has a kind of Connan Mockasin sound to it as well, somewhat reminding me of "I'll Be Lightning". Just a wonderful listen from start to finish. Even the obscure outro is enjoyable. Love this track to bits; it simply never gets old.

    5/5
     
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    The live version is, again, much better. EJ and Ceecee singing the middle eight bit, or is that chorus, anyway works better for me than Liam and EJ singing on the record, and Connan Mockasin's (who looks very striking and imposing) noise guitar adds something to the song that I really like; and, again,, it's tighter and better sounding than the mostly one-man-band version on the album. I also think that Liam's lead vocal is more controlled -- it's just better.

    This is a good song, it reminds me a bit of early XTC or something, though actually annoys me less (except for the sound, but a good tweak of the equalizer helps that): a pop song but one that's had the sweetness of it deliberately soured; but the studied dissonance is super -catchy and it is an earworm.

    Lyrically, eh...there seems to a be a fair bit of anger in there, and the song seems like a fairly tightly controlled expression of rage (albeit not without a dose of typically bizarre, psychedelicized humor). Generally, I guess it concerns celebrity culture and the narratives we're told about them, but it's pretty oblique.

    4.1/5
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  11. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallentuna, Sweden
    "Helena Bonham Carter" is a fabulous song. Every time I listen to The Nihilist I end up playing this song on repeat several times before I can move on to the next song. I like how it starts off as what seems like a conventional rock song with a great beat and then takes a lot of sharp turns through the song before coming back to where it started. Listening to the song it feels like I'm a guest at the narrator's home and the narrator starts telling this tale and when he reaches the chorus another person starts commenting, and then objecting when he sings "I'm not afraid of anyone except Death" and kind of hijacks the song, wanting to tell the story how it really was. At this point, the song starts go off-kilter and weird sounds are added in the background, while the bass and drums seem to strive to keep the song on the straight and narrow. Love it! This is a really quirky and fun song that I could listen to over and over without ever tiring. I'm a big fan of Tim Burton's movies and Helena Bonham Carter (the actress, not the song) often plays characters that has a "nice girl next door gone bonkers" aura about them, so it seems fitting that this song has a "great conventional rock song gone haywire" feel about it.
    5/5
     
  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I confess that I've had a crush on Helena Bonham Carter for about thirty years. And I don't really get that way about celebrities.
     
    BeSteVenn, DanP, NorthNY Mark and 4 others like this.
  13. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Helena Bonham Carter

    This starts with a quite 'Beatlish' start. There are typical Liam chord changes that make things more interesting. Then the song goes to the chorus, and the chord choices become even less obvious.

    I'll re-use @jr64's description above that's easier to intellectually admire this song than enjoy it. There are bits that I enjoy, but the whole thing seems a bit over-clever to me. And, not in a good way.

    There are lots of instrumental bits that are interesting. But, for me, they needed to be part of a song where I appreciate the main melody more. Overall the song just doesn't work well for me.

    2.8/5
     
  14. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canton, NY, USA
    I agree, Lance--that live version is great, and definitely has better vocals, to my ears. In any event, this is a very fun listen, with an infectious beat and some very cool sections, like the shouted "Liar!" bits and the outro. The lyrics make little sense to me, though I can get glimpses of the theme he discussed about people pretentiously thinking they know more about famous people than they do, and then maybe trying to live vicariously though their projections. I think I'm hearing the line about the tattoo as "I got a tattoo of an anchor on my arm" (as opposed to "of Annika"). Video is another Freudian nightmare, this time (as I read it) exploring conflicted feelings over adult fantasies (rather than conflicted feelings about childhood regression as in the previous video).

    I'm surprised at how much I'm liking these Liam tracks so far: 4.2/5.
     
  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Yeah, that makes (a tiny bit) more sense. :)
     
  16. Anne_G

    Anne_G Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Helena Bonham Carter:
    Another great one! I’ll have to start a Liam playlist so I don’t get crabby and can just listen to his very, very good ones. But when they are bad they are horrid.

    I can’t think of any other artist that I feel this love/hate about. I’m a huge Elvis Costello fan and absolutely love probably 70% of his songs. It would take me years to quantify that. :D But the other 30% don’t make me rage, they’re just not my cup of tea.

    So that’s something.

    4.75/5
     
  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I have to do that with Betchadupa.
     
  18. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Helena Bonham Carter - I like the groove of this song, it's mostly an infectious pop song with a section of it that departs from that convention. That's not a bad thing. It doesn't immediately hold my interest but that being said, the melody is pretty good and it may well grow on me so I'll make that allowance.

    I like @StefanWq's description that the song has been hijacked and then comes back around full circle. It's absolutely how I feel about it. It reminds me a little about late night conversations where everyone is jumping in with opinions about this and that and you end up down some unrelated wormhole before remembering what it was you were originally talking about.

    3.7/5
     
    dthomas850, therunner, Anne_G and 7 others like this.
  19. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Helena Bonham Carter" is my favourite song on this album and one of my favourite Liam songs overall. For some reason his arty weirdness seems to work in this song, as just the right amount of counterpoint to the main groove, and there is an appealing sing-along melody in the chorus with Eliza-Jane sounding great in the call/response part.

    4/5
     
    Anne_G, dthomas850, KangaMom and 7 others like this.
  20. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    I'm getting a Gilbert O'Sullivan feeling from Helena Bonham Carter, that and a throwback to Hazel Black from The Sun Came Out.

    Neither of those comparisons is intended to be an insult, just an indication that Liam can write a nice poppy song without going whole-hog bubble gum on us. And I'm still not trying to understand the lyrics, I just let these songs hit me with their apparent sense of fun. Reading and trying to understand the lyrics might spoil that fun. It's pretty subversive of Liam.

    4/5
     
  21. dthomas850

    dthomas850 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Snug as **** - 4.5/5
    HBC - 5/5
     
  22. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Helena Bonham Carter"

    1-0
    2-0
    3-1
    4-6
    5-4
    Average: 4.1864
     
    BeSteVenn and StefanWq like this.
  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Burn Up the Road", written by Liam Finn, Jol Mulolland, Elroy Finn and Eliza-Jane Barnes. Produced and recorded by Liam Finn.


    LIam Finn: vocals, guitars, synths, drums, bass, omnichord.
    Eliza-Jane Barnes & Ceci Herbert: vocals

    This song was begun in 2008, but was not finished until after Liam had moved to Brooklyn.

    It's tough love, we'll see, if you can,
    The fretful man I've always been
    Below the leaves, you never know
    It's rough now but I need you girl
    I'm miserable when I'm on my own
    Well, is it worth it every morning?

    I don't believe in heaven
    Even though I need no reason
    Before I leave forever
    I hit the road, me and the boys
    Me in the wars, my parents will grow old
    ??????

    In this town with beautiful girls
    I look at the menu and always eat at home
    Farewell, come and tear me open
    Building up and wear me down
    I'm scared of myself as I burn up the road

    In this town with beautiful girls
    I look at the menu and always eat at home
    Farewell, come and tear me open
    Building up and wear me down
    I'm scared of myself as I burn up the road



     
  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Live on the roof.
     
  25. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Burn up the Road

    I'm sure there will be lots of 4/5 and 5/5s coming up, but again this song isn't working for me. It has an interesting arrangement and performance, but I find the vocal melody unsatisfying. Both in terms of it not having enough melodic interest (not compensated for in other ways) and not enough variation.

    This is turning into a pattern for me for this album.

    2.8/5
     

Share This Page

molar-endocrine