Shadow of An Empire [VINYL]
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180g Single LP. Printed Inner Sleeve.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on 17 Jan. 2014 by Polly
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 morePublished on 14 Aug. 2011 by Dalarna Rosewater
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 morePublished on 6 Dec. 2010 by Béatrice André
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 morePublished on 29 July 2010 by More blank than Frank
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 morePublished on 3 May 2010 by Hannah
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 morePublished on 26 Feb. 2010 by Jean-francois Lemieux