If I write about Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, the Stones and Elvis Costello, I can be sure to see plenty of activity in the comments sections, taking one side or the another, depending on what's being written. But I have also noticed after all these years, that certain artists almost always fail to invoke any response, one way or the other. An indifference maybe. Is the music simply not good or bad enough? Is there nothing controversial to debate? Maybe there is a collective smile happening that I just can't see.
I thought about this because of something a friend said to me last week.
"Where has Neil Finn been all my life?"
She said this because she had been listening to a compilation of Split Enz/Crowded House and solo material I made for her...EIGHT YEARS AGO!
I was thrilled that she finally came around. Neil Finn has been a favorite of mine since I first heard the brilliant pop candy that is "I Got You." The Crowded House records are the perfect combination of sweet and bitter, with songs that can appeal to both fans of the perfect single, as well as those who need a little more adventure. I guess I can say that about Split Enz, as well. And Neil's solo work finds a songwriter who has grown up, someone no longer afraid of what should and should not be. Pop songs with daring arrangements, as well as the occasional daring melody with a daring arrangement. He is not afraid to take chances.
I've written about Neil with Crowded House and without. I've raved about his solo work. The Finn Brothers release of 2004, "Everyone His Here," recorded with his brother, Split Emz founder Tim Finn, is one of my favorite records of all time. His last solo release, "Dizzy Heights" was a favorite of the year, and yet, few have said much about any of it.
This is not a complaint. It is a curiousity, brought on by my friend's query, "Where has Neil Finn been all my life?"
Needless to say, I am on a Finn kick. I have made the first single off his first solo album, "Try Whistling This" the Song Of The Day and the highlight of this post. Maybe today will be the day everyone listens and decides, "Man, this guy stinks!" Or maybe you all will be asking, "Where has Neil Finn been all my life?"
Split Enz- Corroboree
Crowded House-Together Alone
Neil Finn- Try Whistling This
Finn Brothers- Everyone Is Here
7 Worlds Collide
Neil Finn-Dizzy Heights
Neil Finn & Paul Kelly-Going My Way