Album Reviews

Fionn Regan – The End Of History

(Bella Union) UK release date: 7 August 2006

Fionn Regan - The End Of History It is summer. The is air sugary and rich, and the world is shimmering, and Fionn Regan‘s debut album, The End Of History, is here to keep the season company.

Stick on this album, and gone are your worries about the crippled looking grass in the garden, gone is the annoying stickiness of your skin. Stick on this album, and even the disappointment of no hose pipe water fights has evaporated away. Not much needs to be said about it – part of its beauty is the enjoyment of discovering each song unfold and grow.

The End Of History seems to have been crafted by sunlight itself, it is so pure and honest and light. The songs, beautifully created with care and thought, are delicious taken separately or altogether, and Regan’s languidly sung vocals hang intimately in the air around your ears.

Most of the album is purely acoustic, bare and unassuming, but here and there an electric guitar or piano embellish the picking style of Regan’s acoustic guitar. The threadbare songs bring to mind Dylan, as does the deft storytelling Regan delivers. A Highlight, Black Water Child, for instance, is a simply strummed tale which manages to feel total and accomplished in the same way Bob Dylan could command his songs.

Comparisons hold a cast of Nick Drake with the romanticised melodies, José González for the similar fiddly plucking style they use with their acoustics, and, for tender vocal delivery, Damien Rice. Standouts on the album include the swirling Hunter’s Map, the opener Be Good or Be Gone, a mesmerising track that lingers in the mind long after listening, and Noah (Ghost in a Sheet), dangerously beautiful.

Subtle like a desert snake in a sandstorm, The End Of History conjures a feeling of bittersweet familiarity, as though the songs have somehow been in us and the CD was merely the key to let them out. It is an album of lazy assurance, delicate most of the time and always shimmering with intimacy that, deservingly, projects Fionn Regan right into the blinding limelight. This mop-topped Irishman should be around for a long time.

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More on Fionn Regan
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Fionn Regan – The Shadow Of An Empire
Fionn Regan @ Deaf Institute, Manchester
Fionn Regan + Kid Harpoon @ Union Chapel, London