Finisterre (album)

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Studio album by
Released7 October 2002 (2002-10-07)[1]
GenreElectronic, ambient house, techno, alternative rock
ProducerSaint Etienne, Mr Joshua, Ian Catt
Saint Etienne chronology
Asleep at the Wheels of Steel
Travel Edition 1990–2005
Singles from Finisterre
  1. "Action"
    Released: 26 August 2002[2]
  2. "Shower Scene"
    Released: 2002
  3. "Soft Like Me"
    Released: 17 March 2003[3]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Robert Christgau(2-star Honorable Mention)(2-star Honorable Mention)[6]
Drowned in Sound10/10[7]
The Guardian[8]
7.7/10 (deluxe edition)[10]
Rolling Stone[4]
Stylus MagazineB[11]

Finisterre is the sixth studio album by English alternative dance band Saint Etienne, released on 7 October 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."[9]

Track listing[edit]

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

1."Action"Coler, Cracknell, Higgins, Powell, Stanley, Wiggs4:45
2."Amateur" 3:39
3."Language Lab"Stanley, Wiggs3:13
4."Soft Like Me"Cracknell, George, Stanley, Wiggs4:24
5."Summerisle" 3:08
6."Stop and Think It Over" 3:57
7."Shower Scene"Coler, Cracknell, Higgins, Powell, Stanley, Wiggs4:26
8."The Way We Live Now"Stanley, Wiggs4:29
9."New Thing" 4:11
10."B92" 3:23
11."The More You Know" 3:32
12."Finisterre" 4:33
2010 deluxe edition bonus disc
1."Primrose Hill"Ian Catt, Stanley, Wiggs2:14
2."Anderson Unbound" 3:45
3."Seven Summers" 5:05
4."Gimp Crisis"Stanley, Wiggs3:27
5."Abby I Hardly Knew You" 3:22
6."So Mystified" 3:00
7."White Dress" 2:16
8."Time and Tide" 4:01
9."Shock Corridor" 3:24
10."Stop and Think It Over" (Kid Loco Mix) 3:33
11."Mountain Rain" 3:50
12."Queen of Polythene" 3:09
13."Ballade de Saint Etienne" 3:55
14."Stevie"Brian Wilson3:03
15."Got It Together Again"Lee Hazlewood2:30
16."Fascination"Cracknell, Oakley, Waterfield3:51
17."There There My Brigadier"Stanley, Wiggs3:30

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.


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 performance for Finisterre
Chart (2002) Peak
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[12] 92
Scottish Albums (OCC)[13] 68
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 55
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[15] 4
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[16] 44
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[17] 11


  1. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 28 September 2002. p. 23. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  2. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 17 August 2002. p. 9. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  3. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 8 March 2003. p. 16. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Finisterre – Saint Etienne". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  5. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Finisterre – Saint Etienne". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Saint Etienne". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  7. ^ Merryweather, David (29 September 2002). "Album Review: Saint Etienne – Finisterre". Drowned in Sound. Silentway. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  8. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (26 September 2002). "Saint Etienne: Finisterre". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b Abebe, Nitsuh (28 October 2002). "Saint Etienne: Finisterre". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  10. ^ Hogan, Marc (4 June 2010). "Saint Etienne: Tiger Bay / Finisterre". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  11. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (1 September 2003). "Saint Etienne – Finisterre". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  12. ^ " – Saint Etienne – Finisterre" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Saint Etienne Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Saint Etienne Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 9 February 2022.