It’s early days but I’m really enjoying Neil Finn’s new record Out of Silence, as I did his last, very different, album Dizzy Heights. It was recorded in various sessions put out live on Facebook (the films are all online) but the record stands up on its own beyond the notion of that particular experiment . It’s darker and more sombre than much of his best known output, both in lyrics and in the largely piano and orchestral arrangements. Maybe that’s a function of age – he’s 60 next year – maybe just the subject matter he has taken on, including the Bataclan murders in Terrorise Me. But it’s beautiful in a largely minor key, understated way.
I’ve dipped in and out of Crowded House and Finn brothers’ solo material. But the more I listen the more I think that there are very few songwriters since the 60s who can match his unerring ear and ability to write wonderful melodies. The comparison with Paul McCartney has been made so many times it’s become a cliche, but you can see why. He shares with McCartney and a few others like Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Carole King, an apparently effortless ability to write perfect pop songs which for at least a moment just make the world seem a better, more uplifting place.
Let’s celebrate the man. Your favourite Finn songs and performances? And if you dissent – as I know some do – let’s hear from you too.