In many ways Barry Finnimore’s ‘What I See’ is a snapshot of our times in terms of how music is created. Lo-Fi recordings have been championed leaving the term ‘production’ relegated to the history books. A dirty word that diminishes the artistic ethos of creativity and authenticity. As consumers we have drastically altered how we experience music so it would seem a natural evolution that the creation of music follows suit. Without this shift ‘What I See’, would probably never have surfaced. The arguments for and against this change are as interesting as they are exhausting.
Such a discussion however threatens to overshadow an offering that isn’t short of promise but suffers from clumsy execution. For all the evident flaws there is a charm that shines through and makes some of the cuts endearing. The opener and title track is agreeable enough with some nice guitar work and ‘Beaten Woman ’nods its cap to The EELs to its advantage, but for the most part the songs seem suffocated by their own limited surroundings. For every track that shows potential there are others that never make it off the ground. Fly With Me is as run of the mill as the title suggests. Lyrically it doesn’t exactly do itself any favours either as Finnimore muses that while “flying in the sky I may be afraid. But up here alone with you I’ve never felt so alive.” Frankly, it’s enough to make Fred Durst snigger. However on the darker When The Sky Turns Black, he shows he can pen an interesting lyric as he whispers “Don’t tell your secrets to the wind.” It is a welcome shift in pace and tone. The remainder of the EP however, slowly sputters to a halt.
As the EP progress’s it’s hard to shake the impression that these songs live and breathe in a restricted environment. When songs should soar they stroll. We’ve been gifted some amazing music that has been saturated in simplicity in recent years but one has to wonder when the 8 track recorder wont be enough anymore. Surely music should be recorded because it needs to be and not simply just because it can. A criticism which is perhaps unfair to level at the young songwriter but it’s difficult to shake the feeling that most of what is on show here are merely undercooked demos smothering some notable promise.