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coverpic flag New Zealand - Full Moon 159 - 09/04/09

Liam Finn + Eliza Jane
Champagne in Seashells
Yep Roc Records

Liam Finn's debut landed on my top ten list of last year (since its release outside New Zealand & Australia). Yes, I played I'll Be Lightning numerous times for a long, long time. And, when putting the album on play again, it still sounds refreshing and fine. Pop with power. Catchy and immediate, with heart and soul. A young talent with the right pop skills, for sure, this young Australian-New Zealander. Guess it must be in his blood. (check out Wikipedia, and see the pic of the little kid with father Neil on stage at the age of 3).

Here's a new EP, together with childhood friend Eliza Jane Barnes, after intense touring since the debut, taking him all over the world - yes, even to Norway (I'm sorry I couldn't get to see his gig, in Bergen). Finn has claimed Champagne in Seashells to be a "document of a small moment in time". The 6 songs included still proves a gifted singer-songwriter. Starting with "Plane Crash", which is a pop song sneaking, creeping up on you (it's about travel angst, mind you), before exploding in your face, for then to calm and fade again. Great track. "Long Way To Go" shows Liam poppier as ever. A splendid and bouncy, tip-toe piece. So is "Honest Face". Well, maybe not as rubberball-bouncy as "Long Way To Go", but it's a quality pop song for sure. With the right squeaky sounds added to avoid sounding too trad. "On Your Side" brings the honey-voice of Eliza Jane "front stage", being a fine little duet. Charming, before fading into the sound of the sea. The sound of a seashell...? With champagne flowing out of it...

"Won't Change My Mind" is the most quiet and fragile track, also being a nice duet. It's the straightest song, and maybe a bit too anonymous. It's still pretty, though. Champagne in Seashells may not be groundbreaking, but it makes me happy. And it makes me put on I'll Be Lightning again, looking forward to hear a new album.

Copyright © 2009 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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