Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace. To enjoy Prime Music, go to Your Music Library and transfer your account to (US).
Buy New
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Only 18 left in stock.
Sold by Speedy CD and Fulfilled by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
I'll Be Lightning has been added to your Cart
Other Sellers on Amazon
Add to Cart
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35.00. Details
Sold by:
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
  • I'll Be Lightning
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player

I'll Be Lightning

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Listen Instantly with Amazon Music Album
Other Formats & Versions Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, January 22, 2008
"Please retry"
$1.36 $0.01
$9.38 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 18 left in stock. Sold by Speedy CD and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

I'll Be Lightning + Nihilist + Dizzy Heights
Price for all three: $34.36

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Indie wunderkind Liam Finn has burst onto the musical landscape with the force and presence of an artist twice his age. The 23-year-old New Zealander plays nearly every instrument on his first solo release I'll Be Lightning, a responsibility he doesn't relinquish when performing live. During his raucous yet intimate performances Liam utilizes effects pedals to create, sample and loop bass, guitar, drums, vocals and even Theremin. Liam's sound ranges from foggy and intimate to fuzzed-out garage but melodies are always the order of the day. On I'll Be Lightning, Liam has translated the shambolic energy of his live show onto vintage 2-inch tape, yielding a studio album of frightening power and endless hooks.



Recorded with a mixing deck that once belonged to The Who, I'll Be Lightning melds Elliott Smith-style melodies with loosey-goosey execution and the big, airy harmonies of yacht rock. Finn plays every instrument on the album - and during live shows. Triggering loops he creates via pedals, he'll riff on guitar, go nuts on theramin and pummel a drum kit for a one-man-band extravaganza.
'The aesthetic is DIY, leaving the woolly edges', he explains. --Rolling Stone - The Artists and Bands who are bringing the future of music, today.

Liam Finn's musical apprenticeship was at the feet of his father, Neil, the acclaimed singer/songwriter behind Crowded House. Finn's teenage band Betchadupa opened for Neil on solo tours in the late '90s, and when Crowded House re-formed in 2007, Liam joined as a touring member. Such close familial connections are not uncommon among Finns -- Neil joined his brother Tim's band Split Enz when he was in his late teens and he soon was on an equal footing with his sibling by his early twenties, roughly the same age Liam was when he released his solo debut, I'll Be Lightning. I'll Be Lightning finds Liam coming into his own as a singer/songwriter not unlike how Neil did around the time of True Colours, a remarkable parallel in musical development that, when combined with the passing similarity in their songwriting styles, can perhaps tie Liam a little too closely to his father. Like his dad, Liam has an ear for hooks and a predilection for melodic craft, but he is not only his own man, he is certainly the product of his own generation, raised on classic pop dating back to the Beatles but obsessed with indie singer/songwriters of the '90s, specifically Elliott Smith. I'll Be Lightning has the same spare, dreamy qualities of Smith's music, but Liam Finn isn't as haunted as Smith, even if he has a similar knack for floating melodies. Despite a fair share of brokenhearted ballads here, this isn't an overly melancholy album; it can be comforting in its spells of sadness, partially because they're balanced by lighter material that meshes with the slower, sadder songs to give this depth, a richness in lyric and music uncommon to young singer/songwriters. The arrangements are slyly inventive, too: 'Bottle It Up' gains considerable propulsion from its blaring bass, 'Second Chance' has a tapestry of skittering drum loops and gentle harmonies, and even the straight-ahead driving pop tune 'Lead Balloon' is percolating with ideas beneath its undeniable hooks. These little details are revealed upon repeated plays, but what really gains hold upon those subsequent revisits to I'll Be Lightning is the strength of Liam Finn's songwriting, as the 14 songs here seem stronger upon each listen, with the songs soon seeming indelible. This kind of gift is rare, but it has been passed on from father to son in a way that is similar yet quite different and equally valuable, as this excellent debut makes plain. --All Music Guide

Liam Finn, the son of singer-songwriter Neil Finn, wanted to go low-tech for his first solo recording, 'I'll Be Lightning'. He played most of the instruments himself, and recorded it on old-fashioned analog tape, mixed on a desk that once belonged to The Who. 'I wanted to recreate the demo style of recording where you are just on your own in a room and you get lost in your imagination,' Mr. Finn, 24, says. He recorded the album in a building his father turned into a studio. His father played in the 1970s-'80s group Split Enz and founded the '80s pop trio Crowded House.

Liam Finn's album has a spare, melodic sound, with many of the songs addressing relationships and life lessons in an allusive way. The new release has drawn early praise, with Paste magazine calling it 'a dazzling solo debut.' Mr. Finn, who lives in New Zealand, will tour the U.S. for almost a year beginning next month. For his live performances, he will be accompanied by a backup singer, while he himself plays guitar, bass, drums and theremin, an electronic instrument. 'It's a swelling, raucous noise,' Mr. Finn says. 'It's quite punk in spirit.' --The Wall Street Journal

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Better To Be 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Second Chance 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Gather To The Chapel 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Lead Balloon 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Fire In Your Belly 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Lullaby 2:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Energy Spent 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Music Moves My Feet 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Remember When 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Wise Men 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. This Place Is Killing Me 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. I'll Be Lightning 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Wide Awake On The Voyage Home 5:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Shadow Of Your Man 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B000W8FWBM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,297 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Hillary on February 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I'm not saying that Liam Finn got anywhere on his father's coattails, but if he did, thank God. This album is a dream come true for me, as a die-hard Split Enz/Neil Finn fan, and it came completely unexpected. Liam is an updated mirror reflection of his father - crafty songwriter, truly gifted singer and multi-instrumentalist. I've only had a short time with I'll Be Lightning, but the stand out tracks are Wide Awake On the Voyage Home (channeling Mazzy Star), Shadow of Your Man, Better to Be, Second Chance and my fav, Gather to the Chapel (which is a mournful yet uplifting song about a friend's death). I hate to admit that this album eclipses the very strong new release by Crowded House, Time on Earth, but it must be said. I had the privilege to see this young man perform in 1999 on Neil's Try Whistling This tour, at the tender age of 16. I should have known by his seamless ability to keep up with the vets on stage that a profound career was inevitable. Amazing solo debut - all instrumentation and vocals created solely by Liam.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By dalipardon on February 24, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Months before its release I was already excited about this album. I'd seen Liam open for Crowded House in Portland and was so incredibly impressed. Since it was released in NZ months before the US, I'd been listening to "Better To Be" and "Gather to the Chapel" on Youtube over and over again. Being a diehard Crowded House/Neil Finn fan since I was a child, I really hate to admit that I love Liam Finn's album more than Crowded House's latest, "Time On Earth." I just cringed saying that because I have always be such a loyal CH fan. "I'll Be Lightning" is amazing and I expect this album to do very well in the US if enough people can get the word around. I can already tell you this will be my #1 album for the year. Beautifully written, melodic, harmonic, indie pop/rock with a wonderful energy. Even the song "Gather to the Chapel" about a heavy subject matter like death is so lovely and melodic, it leaves you with a sense of peace - which is exactly the effect I think he was going for. Liam has really learned the art of songwriting and songcrafting from the best in the world - his Dad, Neil Finn. This album far surpasses the music Liam was making with his first band, Betchadupa. I think his songwriting and musicianship has finally been able to flourish as a solo artist. If you listen to artists like Elliott Smith, The Shins, Crowded House, The Beatles, be sure to check this album out.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Opus on February 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Wow. I guess sometimes being the progeny of a famous musician does pay off. The Finns though always struck me as a deeply musical family, the type of folks who would be playing music whether or not it brought them riches and fame. Some people are just born into it and Liam makes a case for this phenomenon with his ease and facility with the craft of making music. He played all the instruments and atop that wrote some truly fine songs that are heartfelt and touching as well as catchy.

In terms of sound, I think the Rolling Stone graphic (Elliot Smith - Despair + A Laprechaun = Liam Finn) captures it about right. It's quiet and contemplative music but not at all depressing, plus it has a certain playfulness about it that can only come from someone who loves what he does. It's a homey, authentic and rootsy record with bits of electronic instrumentation thrown in for good measure. It reminds me of Paul McCartney's first solo effort (also one man playing the instruments and having fun doing it, revealing a unique and quirky charm). Not exactly an original concept but one perfectly executed here.

I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for young Mr. Finn, and I am predicting great things.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Liam Finn's solo disc "I'll Be Lightning" is a great set from this young musician whose style is not far afield from his famous father Neil and Uncle Tim Finn. Finn fronted a band Betchadupa that had several CDs such as Move Over & Sleepy News. This CD is going to make those discs collector's items in fast form. His songs become stronger with repeated listenings. On "Second Chance" his busy arrangement alone makes you take notice including what sounds like tubas floating in the mix. "Gather to the Chapel" is my current favorite with its sweet midtempo melody, gorgeous harmonies and what sounds like a crazy violin that keeps interjecting itself almost like it's out of control and short circuiting, "Your photo over the alter, old friends dressed in black, first time that I've seen you in ages." "Lead Balloon" may be a rocker or a bit of whimsy, "A free man is a happier man." "Night is just the day giving in," Liam sings on the nearly all-vocal track "Lullaby." It's so different that it's riveting. Liam actually brings to mind Paul McCartney on "Energy Spent" with its sweet melody and soaring harmony, "I'm not broken, just a little energy spent & it's a long way from here." "Remember when you made another friend and I knew what he was up to, but I know that I can trust you; Eventually I ached with jealousy and I don't know what came over me," is deeply personal, astonishingly moving, on the brilliant "Remember When." The title track is meticulously detailed with a little laugh and glowing harmonies.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
I'll Be Lightning
This item: I'll Be Lightning
Price: $9.60
Ships from and sold by