Tuesday, January 24, 2012

John K. Samson - Provincial

Ok, so I screwed up on the Craig Finn solo album.

It will be a different story with the new solo album from John K. Samson. Guy is an amazingly talented and consistent songwriter. I simply don't understand Pitchfork's indifference towards The Weakerthans' albums.

Yes buddy can be verbose, but the quality of the songs can easily make you forget about it. Although I have to admit I didn't get Reunion Tour because I thought it would be more of the same from Reconstruction Site.

But now Forkchop owes John K. a good review.

Look for a 7.7 for this album about Manitoba.

Porcelain Raft - Strange Weekend *

Porcelain Raft eh? Never heard of em!

I'll try 7.8.

Actual rating: 7.4. Point differential: 0.4.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Craig Finn - Clear Heart, Full Eyes *

I'm back again. It's been an eventful two months since I last rapped at ya (ht: JA again) but I'm back with my two cents on a new album by some guy I've never heard of - Craig Finn (sp?).

I'm joking of course. The new solo album by Craig Finn is easily the biggest deal on Pitchfork so far this year. Craig and his band are Pitchfork darlings and I'm not afraid to tell you one of my favourite recent groups. One of the most reliable bands out there. When you're in the mood for The Hold Steady you can put the albums on shuffle and you're going to get exactly what you need.

But when you're not in the mood for what I like to call booze-punk or Hold Steady-inspired drinking, apparently this new solo album by Craig Finn might be just the tonic you need for your tonic and tonic.

It's gonna be interesting. I have always thought of Finn as a lyricist first and a musician second, so to hear an albums' worth of songs totally by him will be different. I haven't heard any of it yet, so I'm preparing myself to be surprised. My iTunes credits are waiting for this one on Tuesday.

Anyways, down to business.

Not that it's any indication of how a solo album will be judged, but I should note that only one of the Hold Steady's five albums has ever been rated lower than 8 by The Fork. That one album was Heaven is Whenever, and it got a 6.2. A little harsh if you ask me, but hey what do I know about album reviewing? My thing is predicting album reviewing.

And in that area, I am the Big Cheese. Not to be too arrogant or anything.

My point is, Forkchop loves Craig Finn. And while a huge part of the Hold Steady's appeal is Tad Kubler's gigantic guitar work, Clear Heart, Full Eyes will absolutely be judged on its own merits. And as a student of "good" music and a master lyricist, the only way Finn will get anything lower than 8 for this album is if Celine Dion reviews it. If I had to give an exact guess, I would say 8.0.

Let's leave it at that.

Actual rating: 6.0. Point differential: 2.0.