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I listened to Try Whistling This, One All, Dizzy Heights and Out of Silence recently. It was the first time I'd heard any of them in a while.

My ranking of the albums didn't really change but I was surprised how much better TWT sounds to me than any of the others. It's far and away my favorite solo effort of Neil's. He's stretching his style a bit but it feels under control not forced, and still holds up without sounding too 90s. The singles like Sinner and SWHHW are still great but I also LOVE Souvenir, Astro, Twisty Bass and Addicted. A very successful album and still among Neil's very best efforts.

As for One All, compared to One Nil I prefer the newer songs that were swapped in (Lullabye Requiem, Human Kindness). But otherwise I prefer the older mixes on One Nil. The newer versions sound overly fussed with by comparison. While I liked it a lot at the time, the album doesn't do that much for me now. There are a handful of obvious standouts including one of Neil's very best, Into the Sunset, but as an album it doesn't hold up that well to my ears.

Dizzy Heights is...interesting lol. The overall quality of songs is not up there with the previous two solo efforts. The production by David Fridmann is a bit disappointing; I was excited for that collaboration at the time but it serves mostly to dress up dull songs or over-complicate the good ones (like White Lies & Alibis). As always, a handful of standouts but even the best songs don't compare to the previous two albums.

Out of Silence, I think I appreciate a bit more than when it first happened, and I liked it alright back then. The novel recording-all-in-one-day approach is mostly successful, although I don't feel he chose the best takes for every song. There's a certain autumnal, reflective quality to it which is unique among Neil's work. Terrorise Me is one of Neil's best-written songs of the last 20 years. Chameleon Days and Independence Day are strong but I can't help but wonder how much better they'd be with a more thorough studio recording process. Still not an album I plan to return to often but it certainly has a lot of merit. Although the cover is still very amateurish and poor and probably the worst album cover of Neil's career.

I do feel like the period of Neil's work between Time On Earth and Dreamers Are Waiting (both really good albums) was mostly a meandering bore, although every album has at least a few worthwhile tracks.

What do you guys think?

Last edited by slowpogo
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Quite agree with your last paragraph, Anything beyond the second Finn Bros album, or One Nil, for me is sub-par Neil. Still some moments of loveliness, but nothing of the, dare  I say, giddy heights of the first 4 CH albums or first solo or first FINN.  He really never captured that oomph in any of his solo work that CH gave him.

Much has been said that it's to do with maturing, much has been said about it being because we hear the early stuff  in our youth and it therefore has connotations of happier times for us. A lot of Neil's new young fans love the new stuff. So maybe that's all well and true.

But I think it can be confidently said, for most Neil Finn fans, as hard as we try, and as many reasons as we come up with, we can't deny we keep hoping for that x factor with each incarnation. Pajama Club, stuff with Liam, bringing his sons into CH, recording in one go with choirs; all interesting and satisfying stuff for Neil no doubt. And good luck to him. Me? I have Together Alone and Temple to listen to, so I'm all good. I have no complaints. I just think it's interesting to see the best singer songwriter of our time not quite ever being able to match his initial output.

I feel like so much has been discussed about this. Inevitably someone brings up McCartney or Costello and their output. Inevitably someone will say that evolving is natural, we can't expect Neil to stagnate or write DDIO fifteen times. But you know what, no one wants him to, truly. I think most of us just want that exquisite  pop rock songs we know he can write. No noodling, no experimentation. Just songs. Singable, catchy, brilliantly melodic, lyrically captivating songs.

For me, I'm glad new and old fans alike do find stuff to love in his recent solo work. As I say, Neil's back catalogue is consolation enough for me!

Last edited by Perfectchord

One Nil is still a very big part of my playlist.  I do love Lullaby Requiem and Human Kindness too.

As for Out of Silence in my opinion it wasn't marketed as well.  It should've been in the top 10.  We were truly blessed to have had the opportunity to see it played out in Sydney live.  So far all I had spoken to agreed. 

Try whistling this still lags a 3rd behind the two above.  Only reason it's on my playlist is She will have her way and Faster than light.  oh gosh there I said it. But also depends on moods too for the other tracks on this.

I don't feel Dizzy Heights is a solo album. It's like saying Goin your way is.

But then in that case out of silence isn't either lol.

Great discussion. Got me thinking.  And no not of Paul McCartney either. 

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