After a very enjoyable debut album and a subsequent rethink, Finn's already considerable talent on this second album seems to have crystalised into something quite striking and the thought of listening to this unique voice mutate and stretch further over the coming years is genuinely exciting.
For now, however, this will more than do. Compared to its predecessor, much of this record has a harder edge with a much more atmospheric sound. That's not to say that Finn's tremendous pop sensibility has gone AWOL - it's still very much in evidence. However, the music has definitely moved on. Words like "nourishing", "satisfying" and "challenging" are all apt, as is "entertaining"
What strikes me most, however, is how, listened to as a whole, the album seduces and beguiles from the get go ("Not Yet" being sublime) and, once it's gotten your attention, never releases its vice-like grip. It visits some jet black corners of the soul whilst, at judicious moments, letting enough light in to avoid the dead hand of earnestness. This record tempts, argues and cajoles- it never whines or bleats.
From an artist this young, that's a pretty neat trick. My admiration for Finn's fellow Antipodean Nick Cave is pretty much without limit. That being said, I'd take The Veil's first two album's over the Bad Seeds' opening shots, if pushed. This comparison might sound premature to some, but I cannot help feeling that this great record has delivered so generously on the promise of the band's debut that we are witnessing the early flowering of a massive and significant talent.
Given all that, I can only recommend getting up-to-speed without delay.