Finn - Parlophone: a review
IKON - December 1995, page 92
A warm-up for next year's Crowded House album proper? Another outlet for the
prodigious songwriting of the brothers Finn? (Tim has hardly had time to unpack
his collection of hotel dressing gowns and ashtrays from this summer's global
jaunt with hobby band Alt.)
by Michael Odell
Recorded summer of '94, Neil and Tim Finn have apparently long intended a
sibling collaboration, but the last batch of co-writes emerged as the Crowded
House album Woodface instead. As a belated family get-together, Finn will do
The territory is mostly well-travelled. Written during a six-week holiday in
Polynesia, the mood is predictably toes-in-pool, acoustic-in-hand. Eventually
recorded in New Zealand on a budget of about L5, they played the instruments
themselves, distilling their craft to the raw materials of word and harmony.
Only Talking Sense is a classic Finn confessional, a lyrical blizzard of mots
justes and tangled melodies. Last Day Of June is a lovely piano lament which
sounds like a Woodface out-take.
Angels Heap again hits the spot.
And so it goes...
Of course it wouldn't be the pesky Finns if the project wasn't somehow
booby-trapped. Paradise opens with what sounds like chucking out time down
Polynesia High Street, all blokey bellowing and chanting. Then it develops into
a eulogy to their holiday destination played on, er, ukeleles. It should make
you want to puke. By its fading chants you are faced with the question: "Why
am I hula dancing on the sofa?"
When they tool up, plug in and rock out, they can be forgettable (Kiss The Road
Of Rarotonga, for example, sounds like The Fall being attacked by a swarm of
bees). Keeping it simple, they are beguiling and untouchable.
Unhappily for the oppo, this is merely the Finns fiddling about. Next year
everyone will just look amateur.
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