Back in 2018 The fin. released There, its first new album in over three years and now, another three and a half years later they are back with another full-length. They released many things in-between, including singles, remixes, covers and acoustic takes and some of those were great, but I was really looking forward to a new album, especially as There was easily one of the best releases of 2018.

Outer Ego, clocking a bit above 40 minutes and including 12 songs, opens with Shine, which is essential The fin.: smooth vocals and melodies from somewhere between ethereal dream pop and the neonlit ’80s vibes of chillwave, with a touch of indie pop. Might not be their best song to date, but still, it is a nice start for the album that continues with one of the previously singes, Over The Hill. Which was one of the best songs of 2020 and also amongst the best ones here, right there besides the groovy Deepest Ocean. For most of the album the band is sticking to its usual sound, but there are a few tracks, like the indeed short and mostly instrumental Short Paradise or the strangely folkish At Last where they are trying out new things and they work quite well, so it will be interesting to see if they will go on and further explore these new directions in the future or they will just remains one-off experiments. See You Again also goes for a somewhat different sound with an almost disco-like groove going on, but that song, along with the title track and a few more from the second half of the album somehow doesn’t work as well as most of the others. They are fine, but they just… somehow lack the charm of the better tunes.

But then, there are also some new instant classics there besides the above mentioned single cuts, like Loss, Farewell, a beautiful track with a darker-than-usual mood. So, while There will remain their best release to date, Outer Ego, even with those somewhat lesser tracks towards the end, is still another great and diverse album from one of the most interesting and unique bands that are currently active in Japan.

Outer Ego
02.Over the Hill
03.Short Paradise
04.Deepest Ocean
05.Old Canvas
06.At Last
07.Loss, Farewell
08.See You Again
09.Outer Ego
11.Safe Place
12.Edge of a Dream


A year in reviews: in 2021 I was somewhat neglecting the site due to the lack of free time, but now I try to make up for it as much as possible, reviewing several important / good / interesting albums that were released this year. One for each day throughout December, from a very wide spectrum of genres. #2021reviews