Original Fin

Jeff Finlin

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Original Fin Review

by Rev. Keith A. Gordon

Wearing obvious Bob Dylan mannerisms on his sleeve like his best suit of Sunday clothes, singer/songwriter Jeff Finlin's sophomore album matches obscure imagery and oblique storytelling with sparse instrumentation. The resulting effect of Original Fin is somewhat disconcerting, as Finlin's plaintive and extremely nasally vocals struggle to keep up with his often brilliant, sometimes maddening lyrical poetry. Finlin sounds a lot like that crazy guy in every large city, the one wandering around the streets with a sign saying "the end is near." Dominated by themes of love and betrayal, death and rebirth, the characters in Finlin's sordid little tales are always leaving -- leaving bad relationships, leaving good relationships, even leaving this mortal vale. If songs like "The Perfect Mark of Cain" or "Waiting on a Flood" seem hopelessly dark, Finlin also imbues Original Fin with the light of faith and redemption. The album closes with "Moonlight Becomes Dawn," as positive a statement of life's possibilities as you'll find in a song. Although drawing a great deal of influence from Dylan's vocal phrasing and song structure, Jeff Finlin nevertheless forged his own identity with Original Fin, delivering a thought-provoking and artistically expressive collection of songs.

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