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Album Review

When Neil Finn closed the doors on Crowded House, all signs seemed to point to a more experimental direction for future solo releases; even the title of his first solo album, Try Whistling This, implies a reaction against his reputation for well-crafted, highly melodic songs. However, from the opening track, the light and breezy "Last One Standing," Finn puts all fears to rest. Try Whistling This does dabble in experimentation — most notably in the feedback and distorted vocals of the paranoid "Twisty Bass" and the mild trip-hop groove of "Sinner" — but throughout, he shows restraint, tastefully incorporating more exotic effects while staying true to his high melodic standard and meticulous songcraft. Finn seems clearly freed from the restraints of being in a band, allowing him to try a lot of different ideas, from the sweeping "Souvenir" to the instant pop classic of "She Will Have Her Way," to more delicate atmospheric pieces like the title track, ultimately creating his most complex and diverse set to date. And though many of the songs take time to reveal their treasures, it's worth the effort. Try Whistling This features some of Finn's best work yet, and in a nearly flawless catalog like his, that's quite impressive.


Born: May 27, 1958 in Te Awamutu, New Zealand

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Neil Finn has consistently proven his knack for crafting high-quality songs that combine irresistible melodies with meticulous lyrical detail, from his beginnings as the precocious junior member of Split Enz, through his leadership of Crowded House, and, finally, in his distinguished solo career. He has also earned considerable international commercial success, respect from his peers, praise from critics, and a devoted fan base that hangs on his every release. Born Neil Mullane Finn, on May 27,...
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Try Whistling This, Neil Finn
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