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The Shadow Of An Empire

Fionn Regan Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £8.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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The Shadow Of An Empire + 100 Acres of Sycamore + The End Of History
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Jan 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Heavenly Recordings
  • ASIN: B003BWDE3O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 857,956 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Protection Racket
2. Catacombs
3. Coat Hook
4. Genocide Matinee
5. Violent Demeanour
6. Lines Written in the Winter
7. House Detective
8. Little Nancy
9. Lord Help My Poor Soul
10. The Shadow of an Empire

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ditching the acoustic, but not recklessly. 9 Feb 2010
By Mr. J. Milton VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
The press release suggests a shift in the Earth: Fionn Regan's plugged in his guitar and notched up the attitude. But hold on to your shaking heads and save the Bob Dylan comparisons for Shadow Of An Empire keeps the Irish singer-songwriter closer to his folk beginnings than the pre-boom buzz might have you believe.

Lead single Protection Racket was an eye-opener; pledging allegiance to a barn-storming, punch-up and get-dancing spirit. To announce it a good four months before Regan's second album came by in its full form seemed - at the time - to be a means of warning the fans whose hearts were stolen by the Mercury nominated debut, The End of History, that this was quite frankly, going to be a completely different ride.

And to some extent, those warded away by October's giveaway download will be left equally dumbfounded by the likes of Genocide Matinee (musically citing Johnny Cash's early days) and Coat Hook (a perfectly structured two-and-a-half-minutes of modern day rock `n' roll). Somehow however, Regan maintains the charm that seeped into his more delicate debut, a debut which is as equally honoured as this new direction is; Catacombs doesn't completely replace a strum with a pluck, but vocals are uniquely untamed and loose, just as they were in 2006's Put A Penny In The Slot and Hey Rabbit.

Lines Written In Writer and Lord Help My Poor Soul though, see the songwriter at an emotional low; the former admitting "I want to tell you that I'd make your bed, break it up and I'd do it again, so it feels like you've been here, but I know that you're not, coming home". It almost seems as if this crusade of hard-knuckle rock music of which Regan's become swept away in, is a gimmick to help him keep at distance from real emotions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 29 Mar 2010
Format:MP3 Download
Loved The End of History so had high hopes... wasn't disappointed. Far more of a 'proper album' than its predecessor. The lyrics are wonderfully disjointed, it's always a little bit stretching to find a narrative to any of the songs - but I personally like that! The imagery is fantastic. Love the extra bite that these songs have as a result of the beefier more electric sound. Why isn't Fionn fantastically famous?? Beats me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant second album 3 Mar 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ignore the Dylan comparisons- to me they don't add up. To look for influences, look more to Ryan Adams- Fionn this is a brilliant follow up to the End of History. Keep moving forward.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadow Of An Empire - SUPERB!! 21 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
I'm struggling to understand how people who loved his first album are only giving this 1 or 2 stars. It is a great great album no question about it.
The first was very much a lo key folk album with great melodies, amazing finger picking, and superb lyrics. It couldn't have been improved on in that sense and the style of that album clearly wasn't something that Fionn wanted to replicate on this one.

Shadow of an empire is a much more varied and concise effort. On songs like Coat Hook, Violent Demeanour, Lines written in winter, Lord Help my poor soul and the title track his songwriting and lyrics are better than all but a couple of songs on his first LP. The much more apparent presence of an accompanying band does not detract in anyway from the fragility and beauty of his voice and lyrics.

Don't get me wrong I love his first album but I also love this one just as much. Don't listen to the people who can't recognise the greatest songwriting talent around at the moment. As for being ''the most disappointing album of 2010 thus far'' (according to one reviewer) I think this person needs to check their hearing!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fionn Regan - A shadow of his former self 2 Mar 2010
Format:Audio CD
This album is to my great sadness probably the most dissapointing release of 2010 thus far. I thought Fionn Regan's mercury nominated 2006 debut "the End of History" to be something truly special, infused with considerable charm and a cut above your average singer songwriter particularly with the superb "Black Water Child" and "Underwood Typewriter". Indeed there was plenty of space for him to further expand on these very original explorations. Sadly what we have here is classic difficult second album syndrome with Regan trying to "do a Dylan" most awfully on Protection Racket (which is a poor mans version of Subterranean Homesick Blues) and populating the album with substandard rock outs and lyrics. In "Catacombs" he states at one point

There's a mansion on the hill,
We can get into their pool,
You have a lot to learn,
And I have a lot to forget".

On this evidence he is not the particularly formidable word smith which is argued in other reviews. I suppose credit should be given that he has not played it safe and it obviously better than collected output of the wretched Paolo Nutini. The album's standout track "Lines written in Winter" is excellent the problem is that its the one song that could have happily been recorded on End of History. Let us hope that his third album sees a real return to form and difference combined with development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up 16 Feb 2010
By Will
Format:Audio CD
i was a real fan of Fionn's debut and while this sees a slight gear (and label) change, it's still the work of a super-talented arranger and lyricist. On first listen it does sound a bit too in thrall to Highway 61-era Dylan, but a few more listens and its own charm and personality starts to come through strongly. If not quite a 5-star knockout, this is a very good album - 'Catacombs' and 'Lines Written in Winter' are stunning songs - and shows an exciting development. Nice work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
I originally ordered the CD "100 Acres of Sycamore" and this was recommended. Very impressed with this young Irishman and this CD (and "Sycamore") are thought... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Polly
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I was a bit disappointed at first listen, but as soon as I accepted that this was not End Of History part 2, I realized the album is nothing short of breathtakingly life affirming. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Dalarna Rosewater
5.0 out of 5 stars Great evolution !
Ok, I understand that people can be disappointed by this change of direction, and maybe they are listening to this new album with skepticism. Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2010 by Béatrice André
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of 2010?
This is an extraordinary tour de force. Yes, some of songs veer towards pastiche of Dylan and Young but Regan is never just pastiche here: the lyrics sparkle and shine throughout. Read more
Published on 29 July 2010 by More blank than Frank
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment
Don't buy this hoping for something similar to the sensitive and poetic folk of The End of History and Fionn's earlier EPs. Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Autumn
1.0 out of 5 stars The first album = masterpiece!
The first album is one of my favourite acoustic album off all-time! The second album is too much change compared to the first one. The voice and the music are simply not there! Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2010 by Jean-francois Lemieux
1.0 out of 5 stars A Shadow of his former album
Sorry Fionn.
I loved your first album (THE END OF HISTORY)- that is still probably one of my all time top ten albums. Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2010 by Pagan Ronnie
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