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it's been an interesting couple of years for fionn regan...never one to take the easy route, fionn could easily have made a safe and predictable follow-up to 'the end of history', his 2007 mercury-nominated and critically lauded debut...he could have simply recorded another collection of beguiling acoustic beauties... he could have made the end of history part two...but that would have been too easy...instead fionn has returned with a very different second album bursting with ideas and a set of dazzling new tunes which are sure to reaffirm his reputation as both maverick genius and one of the most talented contemporary singer-songwriters around...if the end of history was the sound of the countryside and woodland lanes the shadow of an empire is the sound of towns and dimly lit streets; heartfelt and with a ragged edge. regan has ploughed himself a new furrow. it was during a period of great global upheaval, whilst touring his debut album for two years worldwide, and in particular across the us, as fionn puts it - "seeing the world, the bone structure, the pulp" - that he began work on its follow up. it seems natural that his response was to become more outward looking and in the shadow of an empire this manifests itself in a collection of songs that are peopled with characters and conversational dialogue. the often witty vignettes are used to facilitate more complex soul-searching. fionn again produced the album himself but the journey to this end wasn't as straightforward this time around...fionn parted company with lost highway last year when it became apparent that they had different ideas for the album...so fionn bought himself a trident desk and a tape machine, set up in a small, disused factory space in co. wicklow, ireland and set about making the album without interference. never short of champions, jeff barrett was bowled over by the results and quickly signed him up for what will be heavenly recordings first release of 2010.
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