Liam Finn has all the tools to be a master pop song craftsman — he proved so on his vibrant collabrative EP with Eliza Jane, Champange in Seashells. But FOMO, which stands for fear of missing out, doesn’t showcase his talent.
On FOMO, Finn is like a skilled carpenter who just builds plain oak chairs; nothing fancy, but solid with all the required parts. Most of the songs here are functional, but uninspiring. Finn tries to distract from this by cramming in addition sound effects like laser beams which are more annoying than imaginitive.
The album lacks space. The layers Finn creates are needlessly thick at times and it suffocates individual lines and lyrics. Opening things up could help these tunes to breathe more.
We get a glimpse of this on “Cold Feet.” The verses are crisper than the melody and this contrast drives the ear toward the latter. The songs does suffer from the silly laser sounds, but it still stands out from other tracks on FOMO.
One thing I was impressed with here is Finn’s singing. He seems much more sure of his voice and it led to the realization that he has a much better voice than I had thought.
FOMO won't inspire much FOMO, but the brief moments of clarity suggest a lack of effort overall rather than a regression of skill so hopefully the best is still to come from Finn.
FOMO is out now. Liam Finn will play the Cashbah in Durham on October 17.