Finisterre (album)

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Studio album by Saint Etienne
Released 30 September 2002 (2002-09-30)
Recorded 2002
Genre Electronic, ambient house, techno, alternative rock
Length 46:56
Label Mantra
Producer Saint Etienne, Mr Joshua, Ian Catt
Saint Etienne chronology
Asleep at the Wheels of Steel
(2002)Asleep at the Wheels of Steel2002
Travel Edition 1990–2005
(2005)Travel Edition 1990–20052005
Singles from Finisterre
  1. "Action"
    Released: July 2002
  2. "Shower Scene"
    Released: 2002
  3. "Soft Like Me"
    Released: 2003
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 73/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[3]
Drowned in Sound 10/10[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
Mojo 3.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media 7.6/10[6]
7.7/10 (deluxe edition)[7]
Q 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[1]
Stylus Magazine B[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars[1]

Finisterre is the sixth studio album by English alternative dance band Saint Etienne, released on 30 September 2002 by Mantra Records. A double-disc deluxe edition was released on 3 May 2010 by Heavenly Records.


Following two relatively uniform albums, Good Humor and Sound of Water, Finisterre contains a wide mixture of sounds and styles (as would its successor Tales from Turnpike House). The album returned to the inclusion of vocal interludes between songs as last heard on their album So Tough and a more angular, electronic sound, particularly on tracks such as "Action", "Shower Scene" and "New Thing". "Language Lab" and "Summerisle" recall the ambient style of Sound of Water, while "Stop and Think It Over" would not have been out of place on Good Humor or its predecessor, Tiger Bay.

The vocal interludes were supplied by Michael Jayston's narration as featured in the film released to accompany the album, also called Finisterre. The film was directed by Paul Kelly and Kieran Evans and was born out of visuals used to accompany certain tracks from the album shown during their live shows. The film debuted at a sold-out show in October 2002 at the Royal Festival Hall on London's Southbank, and was re-released to select screens in 2005. It is currently available on DVD. The album sleeve features a photograph of the East London tower block Ronan Point shortly after it collapsed in 1968 with the loss of four lives.

Nitsuh Abebe of Pitchfork Media scored the album 7.6 out of ten and wrote that "[t]he big comeback on Finisterre's part is that they're tugging those strings again, confidently", citing "B92" as a highlight. However, Abebe criticised "Action" and "New Thing" as "just begging for the bigger kick drums that would turn them into flat-out stompers."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Action" Coler, Cracknell, Higgins, Powell, Stanley, Wiggs 4:45
2. "Amateur"   3:39
3. "Language Lab" Stanley, Wiggs 3:13
4. "Soft Like Me" Cracknell, George, Stanley, Wiggs 4:24
5. "Summerisle"   3:08
6. "Stop and Think It Over"   3:57
7. "Shower Scene" Coler, Cracknell, Higgins, Powell, Stanley, Wiggs 4:26
8. "The Way We Live Now" Stanley, Wiggs 4:29
9. "New Thing"   4:11
10. "B92"   3:23
11. "The More You Know"   3:32
12. "Finisterre"   4:33

Previously unreleased tracks are "So Mystified", "White Dress", "Stop and Think It Over" (Kid Loco Mix). "There There My Brigadier" was never released commercially, but given away on a promotional single at a Doctor Who convention in 2003 for a later-abandoned album of Dr Who-related remixes.[9]


from "Action"
  • "Anderson Unbound"
  • "7 Summers"
  • "Action" (Mr Joshua Edit)
  • "Action" (DJ Tiësto Remix)
  • "Action" (Laub Remix)
from "Soft Like Me" / "Shower Scene"
  • "Gimp Crisis"
  • "Time and Tide"
  • "Shock Corridor"
  • "Soft Like Me" (Mr Joshua Mix)
  • "Abby I Hardly Knew You"
  • "Soft Like Me" (K.O.W. Radiophonic Rework)
  • "New Thing"


Chart (2002) Peak
German Albums Chart[10] 92
UK Albums Chart[11] 55
US Top Electronic Albums[12] 11
US Top Independent Albums[13] 44


  1. ^ a b c d e "Finisterre – Saint Etienne". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Finisterre – Saint Etienne". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Saint Etienne". Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Merryweather, David (29 September 2002). "Album Review: Saint Etienne - Finisterre". Drowned in Sound. Silentway. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (26 September 2002). "Saint Etienne: Finisterre". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Abebe, Nitsuh (28 October 2002). "Saint Etienne: Finisterre". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Hogan, Marc (4 June 2010). "Saint Etienne: Tiger Bay / Finisterre". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (1 September 2003). "Saint Etienne – Finisterre". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 7 August 2007. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Saint Etienne, Finisterre" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "SAINT ETIENNE". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2013.  Note: Select "Albums" tab.
  12. ^ "Saint Etienne – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Saint Etienne – Chart history: Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 1 June 2013.