Faith in the Future
Three tracks into Faith in the Future, Craig Finn’s latest solo outing, the singer-songwriter (and The Hold Steady frontman) takes us to the New York intersection of Second Avenue and Ninth Street. We follow him all the way up to “Newmeyer’s Roof” so he can finally share his firsthand September 11 experience. “All these tall tales and one tiny truth / I saw the towers go down from up on Newmeyer’s roof / Yeah, we were frightened, yeah, we were drinking / It was all so confusing.” No positive spin. No easy resurrections. It’s this ability to embrace ambiguity without sacrificing specificity that’s Finn’s success on this lopsided album. He’s comfortable with ending a song with a kid walking into a theater with a gun (“Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son”) and letting the listener’s imagination take care of the rest. Unfortunately, this intimate high is short lived. “Sandra From Scranton” kicks off a less-than-exciting second half that ultimately leaves Faith in the Future feeling like a long listen at only forty minutes in length. But if Finn keeps digging deep within himself, who knows how many lives he could touch in the future?