Rank The Neil Finn Solo Albums

Seems like Steve Shealy and I has pretty similar taste in ranking albums Cheers, Steve!

1. Try whistling this - also as one of the best albums in Neils catalogue

2. Dizzy Heights - pretty good and exciting album for 30 years career.

3. One Nil - also as lowest point in his career (to me, ofcourse).

I'd say Flying in the Face of Love, White Lies, Better Than TV and Strangest Friends are up there with the songs you listed (except for Lullaby Requiem, which I can't stand). Apart from those songs though... Dizzy Heights, Recluse and Divebomber are decent, the other few are a rare examples of ho-hum songs by Neil.

I agree with you that Dizzy Heights is at #3, but it's not a bad album by any means. I haven't listened to One All as an album, but as it's missing two of my top 3 songs from One Nil and I don't really like the two new songs, I suspect I would rate Dizzy Heights above One All.

slowpogo posted:

Surprised anyone puts Dizzy Heights above #3. Someone please tell me which of its songs remotely approach the likes of SWHHW, Sinner, Astro, Lullaby Requiem, Driving Me Mad, Into the Sunset?

I don't dislike the album, but come on...

Well, if you just have to ask, let me tell you we are extremely on taste question here, nothing else. To me, Recluse, White Lies... and In my Blood can measure with any of songs you mentioned. But, unlike TWT, One Nil album was just misguided produced with arrangments which didnt suit them too well, and songs which was just too safe. All opposite to TWT album, in my opinion. Dizzy Heights wasnt perfect (much more in thread "Dizzy Heights - 3 years after") but its far more exciting than One Nil. Terrible  songs like Underestimated and Now I got it and poor singles like Hole in the ice and Rest of the day off  from that era actually show in what creating crisis Neil went in those days, and I am glad that album with Tim came shortly after to return him on wright path.

1. One All

2. One Nil

3. Try whistling this

4. ---

5. Dizzy Heights (Think the songs aren't bad, but the production is weak, thin, no really good drums an no good bass playing..., too polished.)

Hope Neil gehts his Guitar out again in the next record(s). We need rockier sounds again and with more edges and more drive.

Hmm. The only Dizzy Height track I like a lot is In My Blood; several others are good, and I appreciate the experimenting of Divebomber and White Lies, but much prefer the "normal" version of White Lies he performed with strings. The whole project just feels a few rungs down the ladder from his other solo work.

I can't stand Flying In the Face of Love, Pony Ride or Impressions...yuck. I feel a lot of the problem stems from Neil's lyric writing, which I feel has been on the decline for the last decade or so. He still gets some great lines in here and there (Recluse and White Lies are very nice lyrically) but there's  a lot of beige, banal junk too (the line "let your hair down" in Better Than TV, for example, such a boring and disengaging cliche).

That's an interesting point, as Dizzy Heights is just about the only album of Neil's that I don't sing along to - because I don't know the words. I wonder if I'm blocking out the lyrics because they're sub-par 

On a song to song basis, I'd rate Dizzy Heights only just lower than One Nil, but as an album I rate it much lower. I guess my problem with it is production rather than the actual songs. That being said, it's still growing on me...

I was really interested in everybody's ranking and thoughts, but I've discovered it's become too hard and complicated for me to do it definitively. It doesn't seem like anyone is having the same issues (which I described in great detail in the CH ranking thread). I was saying that it's become impossible for me to NOT look at the entire "era" of songs from these albums - and then as one continuum of music that blurs together. The reissues changed my entire perception.

In the US, I heard "One All" first and, then, having heard "One Nil" plus the Roundhead seasons in 2001 that produced "Human Kindness," as well as the original "Time On Earth" demo and the "Rain" soundtrack - 1999-2001 was a period of great songwriting and exploration for Neil. I think "Driving Me Mad" is my favorite Neil Finn solo track, so "One All/Nil" gets my nod if forced to choose.

"TWT" would come second as it feels slightly more like he was TRYING to create something that was a sonic departure from Crowded House, as if to justify breaking up the band and/or trying to find an identity as a solo artist outside of CH, when, from a songwriting point of view, CH really WAS Neil Finn solo -perhaps even more so than "TWT" or "ON/A" (or even Finn Brothers) where he had more cowrites than he ever did in CH (apart from Woodface). That said, the songs are all well-crafted and interesting and all of the material from that era (recorded between 1995 and 1997) is really strong and varied. He certainly succeeded in stretching into sonic and song approach territories that people wouldn't have normally associated with Crowded House. 

"Dizzy Heights" is a great album to me, but simply too experimental to be what I would consider the "best" Neil Finn solo album. Again, he only has three solo albums so saying "DH" is my least favorite is, for me, like ranking orgasms: being last does NOT mean being BAD in any way shape or form (although I understand some here don't care at all for "DH"). I've said elsewhere that hearing the songs played solo in 2013 before the album was recorded/released really made me appreciate what a remarkable set of songs he had created, which the production, while interesting and creative, obscured and drew attention away from just a bit too much. 

I just read an interview with Neil yesterday (I'm sorry, I don't have the link) where he said he's already recorded his next solo album, is finishing up recording his album with Liam and has a bunch of songs co-written with Tim already in the bag - all of which will be rolled out in the next couple years. This is now how I view Neil Finn's work - one long continuum of songwriting evolution, detours and experiments that he releases under different project names as fits his whims at any given moment. It's all ONE thing to me now. It's hard to rank one thing - it's both first and last.

Then again, perhaps I've overthought this....

 

koabac posted:

I was really interested in everybody's ranking and thoughts, but I've discovered it's become too hard and complicated for me to do it definitively. It doesn't seem like anyone is having the same issues (which I described in great detail in the CH ranking thread). I was saying that it's become impossible for me to NOT look at the entire "era" of songs from these albums - and then as one continuum of music that blurs together. The reissues changed my entire perception.

In the US, I heard "One All" first and, then, having heard "One Nil" plus the Roundhead seasons in 2001 that produced "Human Kindness," as well as the original "Time On Earth" demo and the "Rain" soundtrack - 1999-2001 was a period of great songwriting and exploration for Neil. I think "Driving Me Mad" is my favorite Neil Finn solo track, so "One All/Nil" gets my nod if forced to choose.

"TWT" would come second as it feels slightly more like he was TRYING to create something that was a sonic departure from Crowded House, as if to justify breaking up the band and/or trying to find an identity as a solo artist outside of CH, when, from a songwriting point of view, CH really WAS Neil Finn solo -perhaps even more so than "TWT" or "ON/A" (or even Finn Brothers) where he had more cowrites than he ever did in CH (apart from Woodface). That said, the songs are all well-crafted and interesting and all of the material from that era (recorded between 1995 and 1997) is really strong and varied. He certainly succeeded in stretching into sonic and song approach territories that people wouldn't have normally associated with Crowded House. 

"Dizzy Heights" is a great album to me, but simply too experimental to be what I would consider the "best" Neil Finn solo album. Again, he only has three solo albums so saying "DH" is my least favorite is, for me, like ranking orgasms: being last does NOT mean being BAD in any way shape or form (although I understand some here don't care at all for "DH"). I've said elsewhere that hearing the songs played solo in 2013 before the album was recorded/released really made me appreciate what a remarkable set of songs he had created, which the production, while interesting and creative, obscured and drew attention away from just a bit too much. 

I just read an interview with Neil yesterday (I'm sorry, I don't have the link) where he said he's already recorded his next solo album, is finishing up recording his album with Liam and has a bunch of songs co-written with Tim already in the bag - all of which will be rolled out in the next couple years. This is now how I view Neil Finn's work - one long continuum of songwriting evolution, detours and experiments that he releases under different project names as fits his whims at any given moment. It's all ONE thing to me now. It's hard to rank one thing - it's both first and last.

Then again, perhaps I've overthought this....

 

Here's the link where Neil mentioned that three albums.  He said that the project with Tim may end up being a musical.

https://thewest.com.au/enterta...-years-ng-b88375787z

I really appreciate the songs on Dizzy Heights but agree that the production is challenging and creates a distance between listener and artist.  I also think that the lyrics on the album are a bit "on the nose" compared to most of Neil's other work (see "Strangest Friends", "White Lies").  That being said, "Divebomber" and "Flying In The Face of Love" are in my opinion two of Neil's best songs ever.  It would have been interesting to see how Dizzy Heights would have sounded with a producer like Mitchell Froom at the helm.

I listened to Dizzy Heights today and it is still growing on me! I'd now say there are only two or three songs I dislike and quite a few that I love. Flying in the Face of Love, White Lies and Strangest Friends are up there with the best of Neil's catalogue. What tipped me over the edge from dislike to love was Neil's performance on KEXP. Helped me see the songs in a whole new light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kilq26FC-1g

Everyone has their own opinions, so despite my dogmatic post I'm ok with people disliking Dizzy Heights... I promise.

When I read here that soundtrack "Rain" era was great in Neils songwriting catalogue, I will no be wondered if someone emerge from somewhere with: "hey now, what you have against Underestimated and Now I got it? Those are among finest in Neils catalogue, they are on my every top 20. And ofcourse, Viscontis version of EIH was Neils best work in last 20 years!"

Like I said, totally on tastes field here...

Hmm...this is tough. I enjoy all 3, although I wouldn't put any of them in the rarified air of CH albums.

1. Dizzy Heights (adore "Pony Ride" and "Flying...")

2. One All (with the One Nil/Sheryl Crow version of "Turn and Run")

3. Try Whistling This (a little too  long, should've dropped "Dream Date" for "Spirit of the Stairs")

"Drive Home" from Rain remains my favorite solo Neil track.

 

TryWhistlingThis posted:

1. TWT

2. Rain

3. Dizzy Heights

4. One Nil/All (possibly his best songwriting, but the production and lets it down. Had the album been stripped back, like the Chapel performance before the album's release, it would have been his best). 

Brilliant post. When I say that One Nil/All is my favorite Neil Finn album, I mean that is my favorite batch of songs. I've realized that Neil's songs go far beyond the actual recordings for the album so I judge the albums based on the actual songs rather than the specific recordings used for the official album. Thus, I have One Nil/All ranked #1 although Try Whistling This is basically a co-#1 for me. TWT and One Nil/All go back and forth as my favorite.

And I see that some folks are adding "extra" solo albums like the Rain soundtrack. If we're stretching our definition of Neil's solo albums then I'd say that the 7 Worlds Collide Live Album is my favorite Neil Finn solo album by a long stretch. That concert on video or audio is, to me, the best Neil has ever sounded. Those performances are beyond extraordinary. I wish they had played another concert full of songs that week!

Hm. TWT is top of this pile. But after that, things get tricky. I like more songs on One Nil but don't like the production. I like fewer songs on Dizzy Heights, but love the production. And the songs I do like, I adore. Recluse is one of the best things he's ever written. I could listen to that coda forever.

I was going to put Dizzy Heights last, but then I realised after TWT it's easily got the most plays in my music library, and although I love some songs on One Nil, as an album I'd prefer to listen to Dizzy Heights.. so:

Try Whistling This >>> Dizzy Heights > One Nil

Listened TWT, Dizzy Heights and One Nil few days ago, just to clearify things

So, now definitely:

1. Out of Silence - not only his best solo, but also his best from 1993. Together Alone in any incarnation,

2. Try Whistling This - somewhere beetwen very good and excelent, very unique, close to Out of Silence, but not that melodic and emotional.

3. Dizzy Heights - somewhere beetwen good and very good, but stays that feeling that would be 1.000 times better in hands of CH (Strangest Friends as pure example).

4.  One Nil - only good, victim of misguided production which chocked potential of many songs, and feeling of lacking a band, again it would be probably 10.000 times better in hands of CH.

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