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January 23, 2012 / jhsaeger

Craig Finn Goes Solo In “Clear Heart, Full Eyes”

    Since 2004, Craig Finn has been the primary songwriter for The Hold Steady, writing very bold, imaginative lyrics that drape a solid rock ‘n roll sound.    On Tuesday, Finn will release his first solo record, Clear Heart, Full Eyes, which incidentally, sounds exactly like Craig Finn without the full guitar power of The Hold Steady behind him.  The eleven-track deep Full Eyes contains great songwriting that lends depth to a full, yet varied, cast of characters.  This doesn’t necessarily indicate that the record is sonically diverse, however, as Full Eyes tends to be locked down within a certain sound. 
     Among Finn’s roster of characters, Freddie Mercury and Johnny Rotten stop by on the name-dropping “No Future,” and several figures and events from the Bible are referenced throughout the record as well.  In “Rented Room,” Finn paints a perfect bar scene with “Started coming here two years ago/they play the right kind of rock and roll/the drinks are cheap and they leave you alone.”  Another key set of lyrics on Full Eyes comes from “Honolulu Blues, ” where a vagabond Finn “Fell asleep before Nassau Ave/and I ended up in Maine,” and visits jungles, forests, Tennessee, and Hawaii (the last two may be the perfect definition of yin and yang).  
     Recorded in Austin, Texas, Full Eyes was mastered by Greg Calbi, whose production credits include Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and R.E.M.  It is unlikely that Full Eyes will be Craig Finn’s lone project of the year, as The Hold Steady have begun work on a record that will likely come out sometime in late 2012.  Finn will embark on a brief solo tour that will begin to travel in February. 

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