Alternative-folk artist Barry Finnimore makes a solid, yet flawed, return with his sophomore E.P She Shook Me.
With the slow-burning rhythm of ‘Fallen’, She Shook Me falters from the start as Finnimore’s vocal delivery seems to lack all confidence and conviction, feeding into a deep malaise that permeates throughout this ill-advised opening number.
In comparison with the rest of the record, this track feels out-of-place doing both the E.P and the musician’s talents a disservice.
‘Can’t Listen To You’ finds the songwriter (and the record itself) on more sure footing. With a sudden blast of rasping harmonica this blues drenched effort feels more like the attention grabbing opening needed to introduce She Shook Me. Indeed, Finnimore seems to relish in the short, biting nature of the piece delivering a snarling performance that fits the meter of the song.
Leaving the lacklustre beginning far behind, the confident and deep bodied bounce of ‘Hey You Two Holding Hands’ shimmers with an alternative-folk charm that finds it’s centre in Finnimore’s expressionistic lyrical musings. While the sonic and dynamic spectrum of She Shook Me is opened fully in the jolting percussive crescendo of the E.P’s title-track.
In the context of a sophomore E.P She Shook Me works as a transitional release for Barry Finnimore to explore and define his sound. And while the record stumbles along the way, the more robust sound of ‘Can’t Listen To You’ alludes to this growth.
However the songwriter will need to be more demanding on himself and his music if he wishes to move to a full-length release where the flaws that characterise this record will be fully exposed.
She Shook Me by Barry Finnimore is due for release on June 21st