The Irish singer/songwriter has earned his 'troubadour'moniker with this warm,...
Rowan Collinson 2007
‘Troubadour’ is fast becoming as overused a word in music as MySpace, or the phrase “produced by Mark Ronson”. Not a day seems to go by without another singer/songwriter being thrust upon us, but – no pun intended – it’s always the quiet ones you should look out for.
Released last year, The End Of History by Fionn Regan has found itself nominated for the Mercury Music Prize alongside critical darlings Klaxons and The View. “Who” you cry? Exactly. In a crushingly predictable list, this is some achievement for an artist who has had almost zero attention. Dublin-born Regan has a warm, tender voice, but why him and not James Morrison, Paolo Nutini or any other recent balladeer?
One listen and it becomes abundantly clear. The End of History is a beautiful and beguiling record. From the Bert Jansch-like finger picking on “The Underwood Typewriter’” to the chiming chords of “Bunker Or Basement”, this record drips with wistful lyrics and wandering melodies. Self-produced with a lightness of touch that Morrison et al would die for, the lone cello that snakes through “Hunters Map” is understatement at its finest. Elsewhere the Dylanesque folk of “Hey Rabbit” and the layered vocals of the title track show how acoustic-based music doesn’t have to be saccharine or forgettable.
Fionn Regan is as likely to win the Mercury Music Prize as Amy Winehouse is to attend them sober. But that shouldn’t stop this terrific, slow-burning record gaining the whole new fan base it deserves.