x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Music review: Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights

The Kiwi musician's first album since 2001 sees him experiment with his melodic gifts.

In Dizzy Heights, Neil Finn gives himself the licence to experiment.
In Dizzy Heights, Neil Finn gives himself the licence to experiment.

Neil Finn

Dizzy Heights

(Lester Records)

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The songwriter’s songwriter is back. One could look at Neil Finn’s solo career and think he was quiet for more than a decade. But the Kiwi tunesmith has been showcasing and refining his craft through other projects. With Crowded House we got the accessible Finn, those Lennon-esque hooks bursting within the safe and polished confines of the group’s pop-rock approach. In the recently formed Pajama Club – a duo with his wife Sharon – Finn is willfully ragged as he mixes riffs with electronica over lo-fi productions. In Dizzy Heights – Finn’s third solo album and first since 2001’s One Nil – he gives himself the licence to experiment. A sweet, soulful falsetto anchors the expansive string-laden opener Impressions, while the euphoric Better Than TV even has a slinky dance groove. Don’t worry, this is not Finn’s “getting down with the kids” album; he gets sombre in Recluse – a meditation on growing old. While in Divebomber, sweet hooks crash through the clattering of synths and marching drums. It’s not the easy listening of his famed Crowded House, but give it time and Finn’s melodic gifts will even­tually hook you in.

sasaeed@thenational.ae