Liam Finn – FOMO

written by: August 6, 2011
Release Date: June 21, 2011


At first listen, FOMO may sound like a release from Vampire Weekend’s side project with Ra Ra Riot. But after giving it a bit more time, only the vocal work of Liam Finn resembles that of another indie band’s. This recording has a very individual arrangement to it.

Liam Finn creates his own unique sounds within every track. “Neurotic World” starts with its own pulsing sound before it collects into a neat resounding guitar and piano rhythm. The backing vocals of “Don’t Even Know Your Name” trail along the chorus and make the song more interesting. The chirps in the beginning of “Real Late” are like nothing ever created before. It’s also notable how the acoustic guitar along with a wamped-up electric make for a sound that is reminiscent of a changing of the seasons of the year. Even through the echoing “ohhh” sounds in the ultimate “Jump Your Bones,” there’s no predicting what’ll come next. This is the greatest element of the compilation.

There isn’t anything comparable to Liam Finn. His lyrical style is his own, especially considering songs like “Roll Of The Eye,” which details the simplicity of the lifestyles in his home country.

Because of the diversity contained in just one album, there’s really nothing that sounds like his work either. It’s possible some of the songs on FOMO do sound like another artist’s in their own way, but there’s certainly no artist that accomplishes all that gets accomplished with every song like Liam Finn does. There isn’t another person out there that has songs that sound like grunge while being indie and also feels like an entire band’s effort but fronted by one singular musician.

Though each noise is individually crafted, that doesn’t mean to say that they all resound in a positive way. Some of the tunes on FOMO do fall flat.

Much of the flow along the trail of the album is too slow to match the always-chipper tone in Finn’s voice. It almost sounds like a vocalist such as himself should be composing a more positive tune to accompany his tenor qualities. What he needed to do was remove a bit of the distortion and create more tunes like the adorably beachy, ’50s-sounding “Cold Feet.”

The innovative noises in “Real Late” at the middle of the record might not be meant to be the center of a song’s foundation. The sliding chirps are very peculiar in a ho-hum way, which aren’t pleasant to the ear. Even at the end it trails out with a mindless piano tune that doesn’t align with any part of the record. None of it makes much logical sense.

Certainly the best part of FOMO is the finale. What starts as a collection of beats and sawing sounds of many sorts turns into an epic tale about lust. Not only was it cool of Finn to utilize an expression that’s new to the language of pop culture, but it was clever to implement the most exciting of his trials in this type of song, especially building steam toward where it becomes a finale. It makes for a sound of high amplitude and astronomical energy. Now, if he had used these tactics in the rest of his songs, he might’ve created a masterpiece there. Instead, it’s fascinatingly above average.

Liam Finn – Fomo Tracklist:

  1. “Neurotic World”
  2. “Don’t Even Know Your Name”
  3. “Roll Of The Eye”
  4. “Cold Feet”
  5. “Real Late”
  6. “The Struggle”
  7. “Little Words”
  8. “Reckless”
  9. “Chase The Seasons”
  10. “Jump Your Bones”