Stephanie Finch has put together an intriguing line up of musicians and songwriters for this mightily impressive record. You know, I'm not sure if Ms Finch is the star of the show here. Yes she has a wonderfully stunted and characterful voice but for me it plays second fiddle, most of the time, to the songs. Her 'backing band', The Company Men, features fellow San Franciscan resident Kelly Stoltz and long time collaborator Rusty Miller along with her husband, the incomparable Chuck Prophet. With these guys on board you get the feeling that she always knew she was going to produce something pretty special... and she has.
From the opening chords of Tina Goodbye you find yourself entering a world of beautifully crafted, recorded and produced alt-country songs with more than a nod and a wink towards the Beach Boys, Blondie, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. This album is a rich melting pot that exudes a lo-fi warmth with tracks like Don't Back Out Now, Transmission and the utterly brilliant All Is Forgiven all sounding completely different yet all linked by the same deep understanding of melody and composition.
On Sensitive Boys Finch gets the perfect showcase for her voice and it appears sweeter and mellower here than anywhere else on the album while on In My Book Of Love it takes on a persona not dissimilar to Patti Smith. Finch's performance throughout this record is faultless as she proves to be a formidable orator and confident front woman.
There simply isn't a bad song on here and I honestly can't single out one particular track as the whole album is a highlight. Like I said before, I'm not sure if Finch is the star of this record but this album is not necessarily all about her. It has been a team effort. The one thing I am sure of is that this record is pretty damn near perfect.