American pop singer Finneas has shared the latest single from his upcoming LP Optimist, ‘The 90s’.
An ode to simpler times, Finneas frames his view of the 1990s as both an acknowledgement of how cliched it is to romanticise that era and as a genuine desire to get away from the hyper-saturated internet age. Any critical bellyaching that may follow someone who was, at most, two and a half when the last days of the 1999 ticked away won’t come from me. Finneas is almost exactly a year older than me, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t occasionally nostalgic for a decade that I don’t even have any memory of as well.
Unlike his previous single ‘A Concert Six Months From Now’, ‘The 90s’ utilises a production style that Finneas favoured during the what currently sits as Billie Eilish‘s “middle period” (is it ludicrous to say that a 19-year-old has a “Middle period”? Maybe. But Eilish has already been making music for longer than acts like Cream, the Sex Pistols, and Aaliyah ever did, so When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? currently stands as her middle period, right between Don’t Smile At Me and Happier Than Ever). The conspicuous use of autotune and the Imagine Dragons-esque breakdown seem a little anachronistic for a song about the 90s, but that’s just nitpicking I suppose.
What Finneas accomplishes with Optimist is anyones guess. He’s got a sterling reputation in pop music as it stands today, but that’s mostly as a second fiddle to his younger sister. He’s her producer and co-songwriter, and he has cult-like following among a sizable contingent of her fans, but hopefully what Optimist really does is make a case for Finneas without the need to frequently reference his sibling.
I’m not sure if ‘The 90s’ is quite the song to solidify it, but Finneas does appear to be carving out a niche, complete with a cheeky flair for self-aware songwriting.
Check out the video for ‘The 90s’ down below. Optimist is set for an October 15 release.