I think back to the Finn Brothers shows when they were still writing and trying out the "Everyone Is Here" songs. The songs evolved and changed and even the Visconti productions vs the Froom versions made enormous differences to the appeal of the various songs. Eventually "EIH" has become on of the favorite Finn-related albums of all time.
While the new Neil/Liam songs are obviously not attempting to be the same kind of melodic/harmonic/pop that the Finn Brothers were attempting, we've seen all the various Finn's try out new material and evolve them live, in demos stages and various takes in the studio - and then evolve them further over the years live.
Like Dylan, you get a sense that Finn songs are never really finished, just abandoned when time is up in the studio and what feels right at the moment is captured. They remain works in progress from that point on and very few people would agree on the "definitive" version of most Finn-related songs. It's not as often the official studio version that everyone loves most more than one would expect. Many times it's an earlier demo or a much later live version.
Neil and Liam are trying some experimental material with interesting changes and harmonies that challenge the ears. That's usually not the preferred approach from Neil Finn/Crowded House fans, but Neil has proven time and again that he cares little for expectations and follows his muse where it leads him. I wasn't crazy about the studio recording of "Divebomber," but the first live performances back 2013 solo on piano are stunning and elevated it to one of my favorites of his compositions. Many of the "Dizzy Heights" songs reveal themselves in stripped down performances for the wonderful songs they are. I think it's clear any "sameness" to the "Out of Silence" recordings have nothing to do with the song quality and had those same songs been produced and arranged like/by Crowded House, they would be seen differently - even though they are the same songs.
I'm very curious to see where they land with this new material in the studio. Perhaps these live shows will help them understand how to best arrange and present each song, much like the Finn Brothers (and Neil/CH) have done with so many new songs over the years. Maybe the final studio recording won't excite everyone, but then, a year later when Neil plays one of the songs solo on his guitar it suddenly hits you.
The work of the family Finn is something to live with, to grow with, to allow to evolve and revisit as they do. 99% of the time, I end up finding the gold, the value of the song and fall in love with it - or, at the very least, marvel at the breadth and scope of his artistic aspirations.
Looking forward to the new album. I love that Neil isn't resting on his laurels and, like Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan and others, he's still obviously so interested in music and songs and pushing his art to new places. That's the mark of true artist - as well as a great one.