ACL Fest Sunday Reviews

ACL Fest Sunday Reviews

Fionn Regan

The End of History (Lost Highway)

Just when you think the singer-songwriter genre has shuddered its dying breath, along comes Fionn Regan to give it a jolt of life. The 26-year-old Irishman's debut already has won raves in the UK, where it's been nominated for a Mercury Prize. Now it's America's turn to recognize his precocious lyricism and simple folk charm. Comparisons abound, from Dylan and Donovan to Nick Drake and Damien Rice, but with Regan's fingerpicking prowess and his poetic excursions down the rabbit hole, he possesses an indescribably singular vision. The End of History paints word pictures distinctively cinematic, especially as presented, with mostly only Regan on guitar and fragile, yet confident, tenor. Piano, strings, occasional backing vocals, and light percussion on tunes like the title track and "Snowy Atlas Mountains" give the album's mood a needed boost in all the right places. To a certain degree, the pen-and-ink drawings, hand-lettered lyrics, and portrait of Regan as a Dickensian waif in the CD booklet are easy extensions of his boyish nature. Yet The End of History is a man's triumph, familiar and contemporary, an instant classic that will be treasured well into the next century. (12:50pm, Austin Ventures stage)


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More by Jim Caligiuri
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Fionn Regan

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