Lightsleeper Fan Reviews

Love it more and more with each listen. So many layers and interesting twists and turns. So many IDEAS flying around. The dreamy, shifting melodies and harmonies and sections pull you around gently, yet confidently. 

It's clearly not an insta-hook pop record, but Neil and Liam have done and will do plenty of that before and in the future. I'm really enjoying meeting this album on its own terms. 

On first listen, I'm pretty cool toward Lightsleeper.  The thing I like most is how it sounds, in terms of the actual sonics.  I don't like the sound of a lot of the stuff that's come out of Neil's studio (Pajama Club, Out of Silence, The Sun Came Out)...something kind of dry and flat about them, but this album sounds fantastic. Yes, a real headphones album. Tchad Blake does a wonderful job mixing these intricate arrangements and all their little blips and bloops, it has a real living, breathing, 3D quality to it. I think the above albums were mixed by Neil's in-house engineers, who are perfectly competent, but Tchad Blake shows what a difference artistry in the mixing stage makes.

As for the songs, nothing really stands out for me.  Maybe the first Neil Finn album ever I'd say that about.  I don't hate it, it's just...eh, never really does it for me.  I've already said enough elsewhere about my issues with Liam's voice, but in general, things are tipped too much toward Liam for my taste.  And the one song that's somewhat in the realm of "classic" Neil Finn -- Listen -- is ruined for me by the "talk singing" thing he's doing more and more of these days (where it sounds like he's talking rhythmically more than singing his usual way).

It's not that I mind Neil experimenting -- it's great that he wants to keep evolving -- but I think earlier albums like Try Whistling This or Together Alone demonstrate a far better marriage between his established strengths and his willingness to push boundaries.

Perhaps I need to just admit that what I really want from him is an album of classic pop songs with a band, and it seems more and more like he's not very interested in that.  The last thing he did like that, and the last album from him I really fell in love with, was Time On Earth, over a decade ago.  Maybe we'll never get another album like that again, who knows.  I do think it will be creatively invigorating for Neil to be in a band again that's not made up primarily of family members.  Nothing against Liam, Elroy and Sharon at all, but I hope Neil's next project finds new primary collaborators.

But, I'm glad others are finding a lot to enjoy with Lightsleeper.

I started to do a track by track earlier, but I've only listened two or three times as background while working. Think I'll wait and give it several proper headphone spins when my actual cd arrives. But so far, Back to Life is the earworm. Hoping some others will be growers, but I am loving the variety and sonic lushness.

As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of Out of Silence which has become one of my favorite Neil-related albums and one of my favorite albums of all-time.

Thus, any new Neil-related album will face a tough comparison for me. That being said, I absolutely adore Lightsleeper. The new album is completely different than Silence.

Where Silence had "zero fat" with immaculately crafted songs full of hard earned wisdom and emotion, Lightsleeper delights with wonderful detours into sonic alleys that ring with ear delights and surprise the listener with each repeat visit.

While Silence existed in a raw, organic, unpolished world, Lightsleeper is a polished diamond of an album rich in studio artistry and beauty. 

I can't even believe how amazed I am that Neil (along with Liam on this new album) has hit yet another massive creative peak some 40+ years into his amazing career.

It is a testament to Neil and all the Finns that they continue to follow their muse and allow it to lead them wherever it takes the music. The results are all the more powerful and we are so blessed that this "Finn process" has graced us with two masterpieces in Lightsleeper and Out of Silence.

This is a comment rather than a review, but does anyone else hear David Bowie’s “Sunday” at the beginning/ending of Any Other Way? It’s a nice little descending melody line.

Really enjoying the record so far. It feels comfortably like the next piece of the trajectory which runs through Pajama Club/Dizzy Heights/Out of Silence.

Thom Bullock posted:

This is a comment rather than a review, but does anyone else hear David Bowie’s “Sunday” at the beginning/ending of Any Other Way? It’s a nice little descending melody line.

Unfortunately I don’t know that Bowie song, but I’m strongly hearing John Lennon’s Hold On in the first part of We Know What It Means.  It was driving me nuts for awhile until I finally figured out which John Lennon song I was hearing.

I've just noticed that, not only does the vinyl have the "Trouble" bonus track, but the entire tracklisting is reordered from the digital download (which, I assume is the same as the CD?). There is SOME sense of connectivity between the songs, at least, in terms of atmospherics and moods and I wonder if the rearrangement makes a large difference and which is better? The whole album is a dreamy journey and moving the songs around could make a huge difference in terms of overall impact. 

Has anyone listened to both versions of the two different running orders and have preference? My sense is that the digital download and CD would be ordered with an ear for hearing it all straight through without a break, turning over discs and stuff, but flow is flow and I'm surprised they changed the order THAT much in the two versions. 

Thoughts? Preferences? Is there an even better ideal running order? Maybe the digital/CD tracklist with "Troubles" just added at the end? Curious...

I am feeling a great similarity between Lightsleeper and the first Finn Brothers album.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, because they sound nothing alike.  Let’s say it’s the vibe.  In some way that I can’t put into words, because it is so crazy hard to explain an emotional response to music.

I already suspect Lightsleeper is going to end up in my top 5 all time Finn records.

Wow, such a difference to my reaction to Out of Silence.  

Sorry I can’t be more eloquent about it, but putting words to an emotional response to music is very difficult.

What was I thinking, having low expectations of this album? *smacks self in forehead*. Neil and Liam complement each other perfectly.

I'm sticking with the vinyl track listing. I get that it was re-ordered to better suit the three songs per side situation, but I think it flows better and also provides instruction for the proper placement of "Troubles." I wouldn't just tack "Troubles" on to the end as "Hold Her Close" is obviously meant to be the closer.

This is how I hear the songs:

  1. Prelude- Island of Peace: Neil
  2. Meet Me In the Air: Neil & Liam (bit more Liam)
  3. Where's My Room: Neil & Liam (bit more Neil)
  4. Listen: Neil
  5. Any Other Way: Liam
  6. Back to Life: Neil & Liam (mostly Neil)
  7. Anger Plays a Part: Liam
  8. Troubles: Neil
  9. Hiding Place: Neil & Liam (mostly Liam)
  10. Ghost: Liam
  11. We Know What it Means: Neil
  12. Hold Her Close: Liam

So, Neil 4, Liam 4, and Neil & Liam 4 (with two leaning Liam and two leaning Neil)

Paināporo posted:

I'm sticking with the vinyl track listing. I get that it was re-ordered to better suit the three songs per side situation, but I think it flows better and also provides instruction for the proper placement of "Troubles." I wouldn't just tack "Troubles" on to the end as "Hold Her Close" is obviously meant to be the closer.

This is how I hear the songs:

  1. Prelude- Island of Peace: Neil
  2. Meet Me In the Air: Neil & Liam (bit more Liam)
  3. Where's My Room: Neil & Liam (bit more Neil)
  4. Listen: Neil
  5. Any Other Way: Liam
  6. Back to Life: Neil & Liam (mostly Neil)
  7. Anger Plays a Part: Liam
  8. Troubles: Neil
  9. Hiding Place: Neil & Liam (mostly Liam)
  10. Ghost: Liam
  11. We Know What it Means: Neil
  12. Hold Her Close: Liam

So, Neil 4, Liam 4, and Neil & Liam 4 (with two leaning Liam and two leaning Neil)

Interesting. Once I got a hold of "Troubles," I rejiggered the tracklist to match the vinyl for, as you say, proper placement of "Troubles," but my guess is if one were to actually break down who contributed what ideas and not just go by who is singing, you'll find the lines are much more blurred than the even divide you describe above, although I know you're speaking in generals. Neil's just been SO experimental recently, that I imagine he had fun playing more in Liam's world - and, probably, vice-versa. 

Yes, I don't doubt that this album was a full collaboration. I think Neil really wanted to produce music with Liam's influence and maybe even saw it as an excuse to let himself be more lose and experimental. It's hard to imagine "Where's My Room" on a Crowded House or Neil Finn solo album, but it's probably the best track on Lightsleeper.

But, if I'm making a best of Neil Finn Volume 5 compilation, I won't be including songs with strong Liam-led vocals. Just like I wouldn't include "Go Kart" or "Mood Swinging Man" even though I know Neil played a massive role in each.

Paināporo posted:

It's hard to imagine "Where's My Room" on a Crowded House or Neil Finn solo album, but it's probably the best track on Lightsleeper.

I agree that Where’s My Room is probably the best track on Lightsleeper.  That’s Tim’s daughter singing on that track, correct?  (Sorry, no liner notes because I bought the download.). That is one awesome track!  I am actually reminded somewhat of George Michael by the arrangement/production on that track, and I mean that as a very high compliment.

So far this morning I have Any other way swimmingly creeping up again and again. Back to Life is the main character here and Listen quenches my thirst for the dark and brooding. If there’s 3 on an album within 24 hours that make me smile then others will follow no doubt after a proper listening with headphones. This album is great but my only complaint is there’s no tours to push it. My fear,  it will disappear without a proper outing. In saying that who here feel Out of Silence was rushed in it’s outing also? 

Unlike the reviewer in the Guardian, I really like the experimental vibe. And I think that Liam has taken a step forward with this work.

I've not listened to the album enough to write a detailed review, but I hear interesting and good quality music. The other day I played Lightsleeper, Out of Silence, and Dizzy Heights in a row, and I thought how lucky we are that Neil is so musically active and is producing music of such quality. 

Here are my personal grades thus far (1-10) ... in the order of my playlist.

  1. Island of Peace - 08
  2. Where's My Room - 10           
  3. Back to Life - 10                        
  4. Any Other Way - 09        
  5. Troubles - 09                         
  6. Meet Me In The Air - 07             
  7. Anger Plays a Part - 09                
  8. Hiding Place - 09                          
  9. Listen - 10                       
  10. Ghost - 07
  11. We Know What it Means - 08
  12. Hold Her Close - 10

I can’t possibly grade them all, but at the moment I can give a rough ranking of a few of them.

Most Favorite:  Where’s My Room and We Know What It Means

Very Close to Most Favorite:  Island of Peace

Least Favorite:  Listen and Ghosts

The rest all sit somewhere in the middle, but aside from Listen and Ghosts I love every single track.

 

I'll give this a shot, now that I've heard it a bit more.

Island of Peace-lovely, a nice intro. Been too long since we've had that South Pacific vibe. 

Meet Me In the Air- the full (Neil) Finn family song I've been waiting for, both in playing and writing. Almost a bit Andy Partridge-ish, dreamy and atmospheric.

Where's my Room-Elliot and Harper! Where's Tim? Heavy Liam influence here, a bit meandering, but not bad.

Anger Plays a Part-closest thing to Liam's pop tunes. I hear a bit of Wilco here.

Listen- as stated by others, would have fit well on Out of Silence. Had heard this from the Jane site out of one of Neil's solo gigs. Seems a bit odd to find it here. Still, very nice song.

Any Other Way-Mostly Liam here, this one hasn't grabbed me yet, just never seems to go anywhere.

Back to Life-the earworm, this one stays in my head to most. The most Neil-sounding song, also would have fit on OOS, especially the beginning verse, and the choir. Love this one.

Hiding Place-another one that's a bit too languid to have taken hold yet, not to say that it won't. Sounds like a soundtrack piece.

Ghosts-I like this more than a lot of folks do. I like the rhythm, and the other-worldly feel.

We Know What It Means-sounds like a Dizzy Heights track to me, a lot like Recluse, especially the beginning.

Hold Her Close-Nice lullaby, love that they sent it to the NZ Prime Minister as a baby shower gift. 

Trouble-should have made the album.

 

All in all, I like this album. Like the variety, could have used a solid, pure pop "hit" type song, along the line of Cold Feet (Liam) or She Will Have Her Way (or even Second Nature). Also love the family involvement, at some point would like to see an album with all the Finns, and nothing but Finns, but that's just me. 

On a side note, what are the Devo Finns referred to in the liner notes?

 

 

 

Steve Shealy posted:

 On a side note, what are the Devo Finns referred to in the liner notes?

https://www.radionz.co.nz/nati...w-album-lightsleeper

Liam: There's even a brief feature by the Devo Finns on one track, there's Tim and Harper and Elliott on one track, singing - so we're all accountable.

Kim: Why do you call them the Devos?

Liam: They call themselves 'the Devos' - the Devonport Finns, because they live in Devonport - but I always read it as Devo Finns because I am a Devo fan, which I think we've even talked about once upon a time. 

brownie posted:
Steve Shealy posted:

 On a side note, what are the Devo Finns referred to in the liner notes?

https://www.radionz.co.nz/nati...w-album-lightsleeper

Liam: There's even a brief feature by the Devo Finns on one track, there's Tim and Harper and Elliott on one track, singing - so we're all accountable.

Kim: Why do you call them the Devos?

Liam: They call themselves 'the Devos' - the Devonport Finns, because they live in Devonport - but I always read it as Devo Finns because I am a Devo fan, which I think we've even talked about once upon a time. 

Thank you, Brownie! Awesome to know that Tim was involved; he wasn't otherwise listed.

The liner notes say they are a part of the choir on Back to Life, though in the quoted article Liam says they were on there originally, but "we took them off", so not sure what is right.

Elliott and Harper are listed individually on Where's My Room. 

The "thank you" section of the liner notes thanks the Devo Finns.

Steve Shealy posted:

The liner notes say they are a part of the choir on Back to Life, though in the quoted article Liam says they were on there originally, but "we took them off", so not sure what is right.

Elliott and Harper are listed individually on Where's My Room. 

The "thank you" section of the liner notes thanks the Devo Finns.

OOPS, Devo Finns also listed in choir on Island of Peace.

Steve Shealy posted:
Steve Shealy posted:

The liner notes say they are a part of the choir on Back to Life, though in the quoted article Liam says they were on there originally, but "we took them off", so not sure what is right.

Elliott and Harper are listed individually on Where's My Room. 

The "thank you" section of the liner notes thanks the Devo Finns.

OOPS, Devo Finns also listed in choir on Island of Peace.

Thank you, Steve!

brownie posted:
Steve Shealy posted:

Thank you, Brownie! Awesome to know that Tim was involved; he wasn't otherwise listed.

What song gives a credit to the Devo Finns?  No liner notes with the download purchase, unfortunately.

That would be a great band name for a Tim/Harper/Elliott project ... The DevoFinns.

Steve Shealy posted:

I'll give this a shot, now that I've heard it a bit more.

Island of Peace-lovely, a nice intro. Been too long since we've had that South Pacific vibe. 

Meet Me In the Air- the full (Neil) Finn family song I've been waiting for, both in playing and writing. Almost a bit Andy Partridge-ish, dreamy and atmospheric.

Where's my Room-Elliot and Harper! Where's Tim? Heavy Liam influence here, a bit meandering, but not bad.

Anger Plays a Part-closest thing to Liam's pop tunes. I hear a bit of Wilco here.

Listen- as stated by others, would have fit well on Out of Silence. Had heard this from the Jane site out of one of Neil's solo gigs. Seems a bit odd to find it here. Still, very nice song.

Any Other Way-Mostly Liam here, this one hasn't grabbed me yet, just never seems to go anywhere.

Back to Life-the earworm, this one stays in my head to most. The most Neil-sounding song, also would have fit on OOS, especially the beginning verse, and the choir. Love this one.

Hiding Place-another one that's a bit too languid to have taken hold yet, not to say that it won't. Sounds like a soundtrack piece.

Ghosts-I like this more than a lot of folks do. I like the rhythm, and the other-worldly feel.

We Know What It Means-sounds like a Dizzy Heights track to me, a lot like Recluse, especially the beginning.

Hold Her Close-Nice lullaby, love that they sent it to the NZ Prime Minister as a baby shower gift. 

Trouble-should have made the album.

 

All in all, I like this album. Like the variety, could have used a solid, pure pop "hit" type song, along the line of Cold Feet (Liam) or She Will Have Her Way (or even Second Nature). Also love the family involvement, at some point would like to see an album with all the Finns, and nothing but Finns, but that's just me. 

On a side note, what are the Devo Finns referred to in the liner notes?

 

 

 

Great comments. "Anger" reminds me of Liam's "Gather To The Chapel".  "Back To Life" and "Listen" must have been written at about the same time as the Silence songs and would have fit perfectly on that album. Same with "Never Return".  I really like "Any Other Way" and "Hiding Place". A lot of emotion in those songs.

brownie posted:
Steve Shealy posted:
Steve Shealy posted:

The liner notes say they are a part of the choir on Back to Life, though in the quoted article Liam says they were on there originally, but "we took them off", so not sure what is right.

Elliott and Harper are listed individually on Where's My Room. 

The "thank you" section of the liner notes thanks the Devo Finns.

OOPS, Devo Finns also listed in choir on Island of Peace.

Thank you, Steve!

You are quite welcome. BTW, the choir credits also list the Barnes Family. Don't know specifically who, but the "thank you" section thanks "EJ and Jimmy" and also "the Barnes Family".

Connan Mockasin and Jimmy Metherrell make up the rest of the choir.

I’ve only had one listen - bought the vinyl. First impression is that it’s a lot of atmospheric sound scapes , which I enjoy to a point . I’m sure as it unravels I’ll get into it more , although I’m still lukewarm on out of silence . 

Ever since Pajama club , there’s been a certain vibe about Neil’s work , and I have to say it’s not been my favourite period . 

I yearn for stuff like - you can touch , anthem , spirit of the stairs , Saturday Sun ,weather with you , sinner , instinct .... 

stuartjb posted:

I’ve only had one listen - bought the vinyl. First impression is that it’s a lot of atmospheric sound scapes , which I enjoy to a point . I’m sure as it unravels I’ll get into it more , although I’m still lukewarm on out of silence . 

Ever since Pajama club , there’s been a certain vibe about Neil’s work , and I have to say it’s not been my favourite period . 

I yearn for stuff like - you can touch , anthem , spirit of the stairs , Saturday Sun ,weather with you , sinner , instinct .... 

Musicians go through stages and it looks to me like Neil has moved through the guitar pop stage and into the atmospheric piano stage. Who knows where his muse will take him next but let's enjoy the ride ...

Sugar Mouse posted:
stuartjb posted:

I’ve only had one listen - bought the vinyl. First impression is that it’s a lot of atmospheric sound scapes , which I enjoy to a point . I’m sure as it unravels I’ll get into it more , although I’m still lukewarm on out of silence . 

Ever since Pajama club , there’s been a certain vibe about Neil’s work , and I have to say it’s not been my favourite period . 

I yearn for stuff like - you can touch , anthem , spirit of the stairs , Saturday Sun ,weather with you , sinner , instinct .... 

Musicians go through stages and it looks to me like Neil has moved through the guitar pop stage and into the atmospheric piano stage. Who knows where his muse will take him next but let's enjoy the ride ...

He hasn't done polkas yet. Or, has he? 

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

Wow.  So sorry to hear that you find no enjoyment from Neil's recent work. I'm a huge fan of the Split Enz/Crowded House stuff and I also really enjoy Out of Silence and Lightsleeper. Dizzy Heights and Intriguer were solid to me but not great. I'm just happy that Neil continues to create.

Sugar Mouse posted:
IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

Wow.  So sorry to hear that you find no enjoyment from Neil's recent work. I'm a huge fan of the Split Enz/Crowded House stuff and I also really enjoy Out of Silence and Lightsleeper. Dizzy Heights and Intriguer were solid to me but not great. I'm just happy that Neil continues to create.

It is sad that you feel that way. While I do long for the hey-day of Crowded House (I do feel like the "leftover" tracks from the bonus discs of Woodface, Together Alone, etc. are so much better than recent releases), Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are STILL so far above most of what is put out by other artists today. Can't remember the last new cd I bought by another artist, other than the new Beck one (Colors, excellent btw).  I will continue to buy anything any Finn puts out. I just do miss the pop hooks of, for instance, "Whispers and Moans". 

Totally legitimate to go separate ways from an artist you once loved. It's happened to me with other artists and I was actually really concerned about Lightsleeper. I thought Liam's last album was terrible and I was very concerned about what impact his work would have on Neil's.

To my pleasant surprise, Neil seems to have reeled in Liam's excesses and helped him produce some terrific straight forward pop songs (more akin to I'll Be Lightning). Neil continues to indulge his experimental side as he did with Pajama Club and Dizzy Heights, but I think he does so with much more warmth and joy on Lightsleeper. It just all sounds so natural and not forced at all - which I love.

It doesn't feel like Neil has tried to write a true pop song since Intriguer and I think that experience may have soured him on the whole process of creating pop music. I still think he will come back to it in time, but people were really hard on Intriguer and I think the band and Neil were actually trying to do something they were proud of and perhaps a bit disappointed by the feedback they received from fans and critics alike.

I'm sure that when Neil decides to put the band back together and put out another great pop album, the fans he lost with his noodling will jump right back in.

Steve Shealy posted:
Sugar Mouse posted:
IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

Wow.  So sorry to hear that you find no enjoyment from Neil's recent work. I'm a huge fan of the Split Enz/Crowded House stuff and I also really enjoy Out of Silence and Lightsleeper. Dizzy Heights and Intriguer were solid to me but not great. I'm just happy that Neil continues to create.

 Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are STILL so far above most of what is put out by other artists today. 

Can’t really agree...subpar Neil Finn is still pretty good, yes, but there is a TON of great new music out there these days. I could list many but some recent new albums I’ve really enjoyed include The Vaccines, Leon Bridges, Neko Case, Janelle Monae...

Paināporo posted:

Totally legitimate to go separate ways from an artist you once loved. It's happened to me with other artists and I was actually really concerned about Lightsleeper. I thought Liam's last album was terrible and I was very concerned about what impact his work would have on Neil's.

To my pleasant surprise, Neil seems to have reeled in Liam's excesses and helped him produce some terrific straight forward pop songs (more akin to I'll Be Lightning). Neil continues to indulge his experimental side as he did with Pajama Club and Dizzy Heights, but I think he does so with much more warmth and joy on Lightsleeper. It just all sounds so natural and not forced at all - which I love.

It doesn't feel like Neil has tried to write a true pop song since Intriguer and I think that experience may have soured him on the whole process of creating pop music. I still think he will come back to it in time, but people were really hard on Intriguer and I think the band and Neil were actually trying to do something they were proud of and perhaps a bit disappointed by the feedback they received from fans and critics alike.

I'm sure that when Neil decides to put the band back together and put out another great pop album, the fans he lost with his noodling will jump right back in.

I think Intriguer would have benefited from a more organic production approach. The songs on that albums are strong but there was a bit too much production gloss for my taste.

Dizzy Heights had some amazing highs but also some significant lows.  That album would have benefited form a bit more work on the lyrics that were far more literal and clumsy when compared to most of Neil's past work. I also think that Dave Fridmann's production was on Dizzy Heights obscrued the melodic beauty of many of those songs.  

slowpogo posted:
Steve Shealy posted:
Sugar Mouse posted:
IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

Wow.  So sorry to hear that you find no enjoyment from Neil's recent work. I'm a huge fan of the Split Enz/Crowded House stuff and I also really enjoy Out of Silence and Lightsleeper. Dizzy Heights and Intriguer were solid to me but not great. I'm just happy that Neil continues to create.

 Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are STILL so far above most of what is put out by other artists today. 

Can’t really agree...subpar Neil Finn is still pretty good, yes, but there is a TON of great new music out there these days. I could list many but some recent new albums I’ve really enjoyed include The Vaccines, Leon Bridges, Neko Case, Janelle Monae...

Of course, there's a ton of great new music out there. Juien Baker, The National, Death Cab, Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Jason Isbel, Courtney Barnett, Matt Pond, Phoebe Bridgers, etc. have all put out great albums in recent years.  That being said, Neil's recent albums are right up there with those albums.  I think the issue with some fans is that they prefer the performance/arrangement style of those early Crowded House albums (jangly upbeat pop) over the more somber, piano-based arrangements on the recent albums.  Neil's songwriting hasn't changed much over the years (great melodies, great classic song structures, etc.) but his arrangements and production have changed. 

Agree that there is good new music out there, I see several names above that I enjoy songs by; Leon Bridges and Jason Isbel to name a couple (though I DETEST the National). But very seldom do I find an artist where I enjoy every song on an album to the extent that I do with Neil. I guess that's down to personal taste. He just never seems to write a song I don't like (ok, maybe Dive Bomber), whereas most other artists are very hit-and-miss.

Sugar Mouse posted:
slowpogo posted:
Steve Shealy posted:
Sugar Mouse posted:
IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

Wow.  So sorry to hear that you find no enjoyment from Neil's recent work. I'm a huge fan of the Split Enz/Crowded House stuff and I also really enjoy Out of Silence and Lightsleeper. Dizzy Heights and Intriguer were solid to me but not great. I'm just happy that Neil continues to create.

 Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are STILL so far above most of what is put out by other artists today. 

Can’t really agree...subpar Neil Finn is still pretty good, yes, but there is a TON of great new music out there these days. I could list many but some recent new albums I’ve really enjoyed include The Vaccines, Leon Bridges, Neko Case, Janelle Monae...

Of course, there's a ton of great new music out there. Juien Baker, The National, Death Cab, Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Jason Isbel, Courtney Barnett, Matt Pond, Phoebe Bridgers, etc. have all put out great albums in recent years.  That being said, Neil's recent albums are right up there with those albums.  I think the issue with some fans is that they prefer the performance/arrangement style of those early Crowded House albums (jangly upbeat pop) over the more somber, piano-based arrangements on the recent albums.  Neil's songwriting hasn't changed much over the years (great melodies, great classic song structures, etc.) but his arrangements and production have changed. 

I have to say I disagree with your last sentence . I think Neil’s writing has changed a lot . 

Steve Shealy posted:
Sugar Mouse posted:
IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

Wow.  So sorry to hear that you find no enjoyment from Neil's recent work. I'm a huge fan of the Split Enz/Crowded House stuff and I also really enjoy Out of Silence and Lightsleeper. Dizzy Heights and Intriguer were solid to me but not great. I'm just happy that Neil continues to create.

It is sad that you feel that way. While I do long for the hey-day of Crowded House (I do feel like the "leftover" tracks from the bonus discs of Woodface, Together Alone, etc. are so much better than recent releases), Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are STILL so far above most of what is put out by other artists today. Can't remember the last new cd I bought by another artist, other than the new Beck one (Colors, excellent btw).  I will continue to buy anything any Finn puts out. I just do miss the pop hooks of, for instance, "Whispers and Moans". 

Honestly, I don't think Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are far above what else there is. Oos is a pleasant, one note album that is nice enough for a bit of background music but Lightsleeper, like PJC, is just plain unlistenable. There are just far more bands who I find far more interesting, exciting and, well, just less twee than Neil and his family these days. Together Alone will probably always remain my favourite album and Neil will always be a bit of a hero to me but eventually it's time to give up on a bad job.

I think the telling thing is that once upon a time I would have moved heaven and earth to see Neil play, but now I really don't care that the tour is hitting my city, particularly given that it's his family he is playing with. It's just not interesting to see Liam arsing about with his Dad and his mum whose voice I cannot stand and who, let's face it, can barely play bass. Compared to people like the Crowdies, or the likes of Michael Barker, Sebastian Steinberg or Lisa Germano? No, sorry, not for me.

And yes, I'm aware this all sounds a bit bitter, but as someone who grew up with Split Enz and the Crowdies music being a massive part of my life, letting it go is a difficult decision to come to.

IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

This echoes my sentiments. It's not even a bother to me either, because what an extensive incredible output there already is for me to enjoy and love and get lost in. I'm glad Neil is happy, I'm glad people are still loving his creations. I'm incredibly grateful for all the songs he's produced that I do love, that were and continue to be a vital part of my life. I travelled to Sydney in 2016 to see the Sydney Opera House gig and it was seriously a spiritual event. I haven't engaged in Neil's new stuff since probably Time On Earth or Intriguer. I tried, heaven knows I tried! But I have accepted he's not gonna write (or can't write anymore) perfect pop/rock songs - possibly ever again.

 

Agree with the below as well ...

IainK posted:
 

Honestly, I don't think Lightsleeper and Out of Silence are far above what else there is. Oos is a pleasant, one note album that is nice enough for a bit of background music but Lightsleeper, like PJC, is just plain unlistenable. There are just far more bands who I find far more interesting, exciting and, well, just less twee than Neil and his family these days. Together Alone will probably always remain my favourite album and Neil will always be a bit of a hero to me but eventually it's time to give up on a bad job.

I think the telling thing is that once upon a time I would have moved heaven and earth to see Neil play, but now I really don't care that the tour is hitting my city, particularly given that it's his family he is playing with. It's just not interesting to see Liam arsing about with his Dad and his mum whose voice I cannot stand and who, let's face it, can barely play bass. Compared to people like the Crowdies, or the likes of Michael Barker, Sebastian Steinberg or Lisa Germano? No, sorry, not for me.

And yes, I'm aware this all sounds a bit bitter, but as someone who grew up with Split Enz and the Crowdies music being a massive part of my life, letting it go is a difficult decision to come to.

 

IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

I know what it’s like to have to give up on a favorite artist and it is always a melancholy thing.  

To be honest, I feared Lightsleeper would be that album for me too, and I had very low expectations.

But for whatever reason, I adore Lightsleeper and am so very happy about that.   Neil and Liam seem to have brought out the best in each other in ways that Painaporo has so very eloquently stated.

Keep an ear out in the future, even if just on Spotify, because you never know if the next project will be the one to reel you back in.  

brownie posted:
IainK posted:

I think this is probably the album where I stop caring about Finn releases. Neil (and co) are of course free to persue which ever direction they which to take, but equally it's time to accept that, after what, 4 albums under various guises (solo/PJC & L+N) that I've at best tolerated and at worst think are just diabolical, it is time to check out and stop throwing money after albums I just get no enjoyment out of whatsoever.

I know what it’s like to have to give up on a favorite artist and it is always a melancholy thing.  

To be honest, I feared Lightsleeper would be that album for me too, and I had very low expectations.

But for whatever reason, I adore Lightsleeper and am so very happy about that.   Neil and Liam seem to have brought out the best in each other in ways that Painaporo has so very eloquently stated.

Keep an ear out in the future, even if just on Spotify, because you never know if the next project will be the one to reel you back in.  

I also can relate. My favorite band from college was Marillion and it completely broke my heart when Fish left the band and their sound dramatically changed overnight from the Clutching At Straws album to the Seasons End album.  I completely gave up on them and stopped following them only to rediscover them many years later with the Marbles album. It was like returning home ...

I'm glad others are liking "Lightsleeper".  Personally, I was looking for an album with a lot more energy -- energy that I thought would be sparked by Liam -- and was rather surprised to get a(nother) slow- to mid-tempo album that is heavy on piano and atmosphere.

But unlike "Out Of Silence", which has several songs I liked from the get-go, and melodies that I could recall after just a couple of listens, I find that the chorus of 'Back To Life' and snatches of 'Where's My Room' are the only things that stay with me after several (rather forced, at this point) listens to "Lightsleeper".

So ... not much energy, and not much in the way of memorable melodies, but a very ample helping of headphone-friendly noises and sonic texturing.  Alas, for me, Neil and Liam did NOT bring out the best in each other.

I'm with the other reviewers who are, in general, not loving Neil's post-Intriguer projects.  (Okay, I give "Out Of Silence" a pass for being something really different and really good, but I don't need more of it any time soon.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not "done" with Neil --  HE is the reason I'm shelling out $125 for when Fleetwood Mac comes to town.

But I'm hoping that his playing a lot of guitar and singing a lot of pop-rock masterpieces (FM's, not his) will finally inspire Neil to revisit a guitar-based, up-tempo, pop-rock combo sound, with some seriously melodic hooks thrown in for good measure.

And if Mitchell Froom is available ...

JagDad posted:

 

So ... not much energy, and not much in the way of memorable melodies, but a very ample helping of headphone-friendly noises and sonic texturing.  Alas, for me, Neil and Liam did NOT bring out the best in each other.

This definitely!

Mariola posted:
JagDad posted:

 

So ... not much energy, and not much in the way of memorable melodies, but a very ample helping of headphone-friendly noises and sonic texturing.  Alas, for me, Neil and Liam did NOT bring out the best in each other.

This definitely!

JagDad posted:

 

But I'm hoping that his playing a lot of guitar and singing a lot of pop-rock masterpieces (FM's, not his) will finally inspire Neil to revisit a guitar-based, up-tempo, pop-rock combo sound, with some seriously melodic hooks thrown in for good measure.

And if Mitchell Froom is available ...

And, my hopes excatly!

Mariola posted:
JagDad posted:

 

So ... not much energy, and not much in the way of memorable melodies, but a very ample helping of headphone-friendly noises and sonic texturing.  Alas, for me, Neil and Liam did NOT bring out the best in each other.

This definitely!

To correct my own words - that goes only for Neil, not Liam - he gave more than 100 % of his capability, in my opinion.

Mariola posted:
Mariola posted:
JagDad posted:

 

So ... not much energy, and not much in the way of memorable melodies, but a very ample helping of headphone-friendly noises and sonic texturing.  Alas, for me, Neil and Liam did NOT bring out the best in each other.

This definitely!

To correct my own words - that goes only for Neil, not Liam - he gave more than 100 % of his capability, in my opinion.

Liam is definitely capable of writing his own good melodies and hooks, and although his albums have their fair share of slower songs, it's always the up-tempo (sometimes quite furiously up-tempo!) energy that I mostly associate with him.

So, my expectations about what he would bring to "Lightsleeper" were 1) a doubling of the likelihood for songs with memorable melodies, and 2) several songs with a bit of "punch" to them.

And since neither of those things happened ... hence my personal feeling that working with Dad didn't bring out the best in Liam either.   😐  

Maybe the problem is having such expectations in the first place?  I'll take a friend's advice and revisit this album in 5 years, when I can come at it from a more neutral mindset.

I understand that Tim's "The Conversation" was far from universally loved by fans upon its release -- perhaps, like me with "Lightsleeper", it just wasn't the album they were looking for at the time?  But I was expectation-free when I discovered "The Conversation" recently, and I can't imagine anyone NOT loving it!  Maybe I'll feel similarly about "Lightsleeper" in time.

Five times listen, I think its enough for serious review.

So, what we have here? Neil and Liam always knew that they gonna bring at least one album together. So, we can talk about spontaneous in unspontanousity. And, recording music album spontaneously is definitely not always a good thing...

Prelude/Island of Peace - I am not sure should I call this a serious "song"... if it is I should review it as one - as gift for somebodies/sons wedding ideal thing, beautifull, wonderfull. For song on album and published? Hm, I could be harsh and say that for song full of "cliches" like - safe harbor, welcome, together, together, together is no place on music album...

Meet Me in the Air - here we come on solid ground, nice and calming peace of music work, lovely, but not too memorable..not sure if second place on album suits best...and together with Where is my Room and Back to life only three songs in which I have feeling of together Neil and Liam work, rest of album are Neils songs and Liams songs in my ears...

Wheres my Room - this is a typical showcase of song in which performers have much more fun than listeners. Unneceseraly more than 7 minutes long song, which I skip each and every time after Neils line "show is over..." And here starts my problems with Neils singing on this album which is far under his level, the way he sings is just...not good...

Anger plays a part - Lovely Liams singing, full of emotions, easy gets to listener...But, without stronger rafrain than "I know that anger plays a part...".its just a good song, nothing special. And, next problem is - when you have interesting song like TNT for Two in which singing takes almost 4 minutes and than you have chanting in the end more than one minute, its a wonderfull thing. When you have singing about 90 seconds and than 90 seconds of TU-DU-DU-DU-DU, its just lack of idea and inspiration, which ends in my case 30 seconds after. For this again I dont blame Liam, he probably gave his best, but Neil was the one who should come with some strong refrain, put some salt in this song...

Listen - unfortunately I didnt hear this song in earlier version, but this Neils talking/singing is just iritating and doesnt serve a purpose. Song which otherwise could have been Pour Le Monde vol.2, turns out as avarage good song which (will) never get its potential.

Any other Way - Again beautifull and charming Liams singing, with perfect production and arrangments gave one of the best songs on this not too rich album... It has some beautifull old vibe, but in modern new way...beautiful song..

Back to life - was on the first and is one of the best songs in this son/father era. Neil at his best (perfect singing), Liam in backup, interesting arangments, all in all very good song.

Hiding place - weakest spot on album, again in Neils directing - boring, self important song, not going anywhere., lack of focus. In time of M. Froom it would probably be teared a part...shouldnt be in anyones album...

Ghosts - again fantastic Liams singing (I dont know how he manage that) on one of the most interesting songs on album. Refrain is fantastic and its really shame that this song wont grab any glory wider than between us few fans-

We know what it means - far better than Hiding place, but again little boringness in Neils directing... and way too long, last two minutes are totaly unnesecary, always skip after 4 minutes of it.. in time of CH it wont be on A side definitely...

Hold her Close - cream comes in the end, so Liam gave us special plesaure in the end of this album. Beautifull song, perfect Liams singing, only one from this album I could put on some wide best of Neils work ever. Altough I have a feeling its only Liam song, but ok...

All in all, what we have here is - extremely fit Liam and extremely unfit Neil. So, results are also mixed - songs in which Liam had stronger role are better, and opposite. Next problem I have with this album is that I dont have a "Finn Brothers" feeling - two men together have one song/album. In only three songs I have that feeling here, in 8 I have feeling that Liam has his songs and Neil has his (more or less but weak) songs. If you admit a fact that Neil is more talented musician with higher potential, and he is the one who is extremely unfit in this record, I honestly doubt one can be too much satysfied with this record in whole. 

 

Mariola posted:

Five times listen, I think its enough for serious review.

So, what we have here? Neil and Liam always knew that they gonna bring at least one album together. So, we can talk about spontaneous in unspontanousity. And, recording music album spontaneously is definitely not always a good thing...

Prelude/Island of Peace - I am not sure should I call this a serious "song"... if it is I should review it as one - as gift for somebodies/sons wedding ideal thing, beautifull, wonderfull. For song on album and published? Hm, I could be harsh and say that for song full of "cliches" like - safe harbor, welcome, together, together, together is no place on music album...

Meet Me in the Air - here we come on solid ground, nice and calming peace of music work, lovely, but not too memorable..not sure if second place on album suits best...and together with Where is my Room and Back to life only three songs in which I have feeling of together Neil and Liam work, rest of album are Neils songs and Liams songs in my ears...

Wheres my Room - this is a typical showcase of song in which performers have much more fun than listeners. Unneceseraly more than 7 minutes long song, which I skip each and every time after Neils line "show is over..." And here starts my problems with Neils singing on this album which is far under his level, the way he sings is just...not good...

Anger plays a part - Lovely Liams singing, full of emotions, easy gets to listener...But, without stronger rafrain than "I know that anger plays a part...".its just a good song, nothing special. And, next problem is - when you have interesting song like TNT for Two in which singing takes almost 4 minutes and than you have chanting in the end more than one minute, its a wonderfull thing. When you have singing about 90 seconds and than 90 seconds of TU-DU-DU-DU-DU, its just lack of idea and inspiration, which ends in my case 30 seconds after. For this again I dont blame Liam, he probably gave his best, but Neil was the one who should come with some strong refrain, put some salt in this song...

Any other Way - Again beautifull and charming Liams singing, with perfect production and arrangments gave one of the best songs on this not too rich album... It has some beautifull old vibe, but in modern new way...beautiful song..

Listen - unfortunately I didnt hear this song in earlier version, but this Neils talking/singing is just iritating and doesnt serve a purpose. Song which otherwise could have been Pour Le Monde vol.2, turns out as avarage good song which (will) never get its potential.

Any other Way - Again beautifull and charming Liams singing, with perfect production and arrangments gave one of the best songs on this not too rich album... It has some beautifull old vibe, but in modern new way...beautiful song..

Back to life - was on the first and is one of the best songs in this son/father era. Neil at his best (perfect singing), Liam in backup, interesting arangments, all in all very good song.

Hiding place - weakest spot on album, again in Neils directing - boring, self important song, not going anywhere., lack of focus. In time of M. Froom it would probably be teared a part...shouldnt be in anyones album...

Ghosts - again fantastic Liams singing (I dont know how he manage that) on one of the most interesting songs on album. Refrain is fantastic and its really shame that this song wont grab any glory wider than between us few fans-

We know what it means - far better than Hiding place, but again little boringness in Neils directing... and way too long, last two minutes are totaly unnesecary, always skip after 4 minutes of it.. in time of CH it wont be on A side definitely...

Hold her Close - cream comes in the end, so Liam gave us special plesaure in the end of this album. Beautifull song, perfect Liams singing, only one from this album I could put on some wide best of Neils work ever. Altough I have a feeling its only Liam song, but ok...

All in all, what we have here is - extremely fit Liam and extremely unfit Neil. So, results are also mixed - songs in which Liam had stronger role are better, and opposite. Next problem I have with this album is that I dont have a "Finn Brothers" feeling - two men together have one song/album. In only three songs I have that feeling here, in 8 I have feeling that Liam has his songs and Neil has his (more or less but weak) songs. If you admit a fact that Neil is more talented musician with higher potential, and he is the one who is extremely unfit in this record, I honestly doubt one can be too much satysfied with this record in whole.

Wow ... I appreciate your comments. Very well thought out and it sounds like you've given the record a lot of listens.  I see/hear the album so differently ... I adore the album which is vastly different that anything Neil has been associated with before.  It's a world away from Out of Silence (which I consider to be a masterpiece and one of my favorite Neil albums ever), but Lightsleeper is such a beautiful musical world and one that takes time to savor.  I'm enjoying it more and more with each listen.

Island of Peace

My comment - I adore Island of Peace as an entry point into the album. I agree with you that it isn't a "song" as such.  It's more of a prelude to a musical piece. It's our entry point into the world that is Lightsleeper.

Meet Me in the Air

My comment - I really like this song but I don't like it early in the album. It's simply too slow and meandering.  In my playlist, I have in the middle of the album. At that point, it fits perfectly for me.  I also think the first "verse" should have been edited ... goes on too long for my taste.  That all being said, it's a beautiful Liam song.

Where's My Room

My comment - I have a completely different take on "Where's My Room".  I think it is a brilliant, brilliant song.  I heard Neil talk about it and how it's a musical and lyrical portrait of what it's like to walk through a hotel or through life knocking on doors, entering some and exiting, all the while looking for home. It's such a magnificent song. I get chills just thinking about the song. And the last two minutes (beautifully arranged by Victoria Kelly) is off the chart amazing.  To me, this song is a career achievement. On my playlist, I've moved this song to #2 after Island of Peace and I love it there.

Anger Plays a Part

My comments - I also adore this "Anger".  Liam wrote it but I heard Neil talk about it and how they decided to have a long coda for the song to symbolize a sort of mindfulness as one embraces anger and moves through it.  Neil said that the song is about how anger is a part of life and how it can have a vital part in healing and recovery.

Troubles

My comments - really catchy song. I can see why it was the bonus track, but I also think it should have been included on the main album as it provides some energy.

Listen

My comments - "Listen" is one of my favorite Neil songs of all-time and that's saying a lot.  First, it's a spectacular lyric. How brilliant is that first line ... and how brilliant is the line "silence has a purpose, I don't fear it anymore" ... such a great lyric.  I had the good fortune to hear Neil play this song on solo piano and it's something that will stay with me forever. Such a powerful song. The vocal here on the studio version is plaintive and a bit sorrowful which adds to the power for me. Love, love, love this song.

Any Other Way

My comments: I also love this song ... it flows beautifully. Doesn't necessary "go" anywhere but there's a power to this song.  A magical quality that draws me in every time I hear it.  Love Liam's vocal on this one.

Back To Life

My comments - "Back To Life" is the most classic Neil song on the record. I would call it a perfect song. Perfect verses, perfect chorus, perfect bridge, and perfect coda. Love it.

Hiding Place

My comments - I also love "Hiding Place". Again, it's one of those wandering songs. Takes the listener on a musical journey to undercover what lies beneath the surface in our hiding places where there is no shadow.  The song gives me major chills.

Ghosts

My comments - "Ghosts" is growing on me.  Felt a bit weird to me at first but it's definitely catchy and would be the single if the album were released in the 80's.

We Know What It Means

My comments - this is a real sentimental song and the lyric is a little clumsy but I love the sentiment and I love the music.  Gives me a lump in the throat.

Hold Her Close

My comments - "Hold Her Close" may be the best song Liam has ever written. An instant classic.  Perfect song.

Sugar Mouse posted:

Wow ... I appreciate your comments. Very well thought out and it sounds like you've given the record a lot of listens.  I see/hear the album so differently ... I adore the album which is vastly different that anything Neil has been associated with before.  It's a world away from Out of Silence (which I consider to be a masterpiece and one of my favorite Neil albums ever), but Lightsleeper is such a beautiful musical world and one that takes time to savor.  I'm enjoying it more and more with each listen.

Island of Peace

My comment - I adore Island of Peace as an entry point into the album. I agree with you that it isn't a "song" as such.  It's more of a prelude to a musical piece. It's our entry point into the world that is Lightsleeper.

Meet Me in the Air

My comment - I really like this song but I don't like it early in the album. It's simply too slow and meandering.  In my playlist, I have in the middle of the album. At that point, it fits perfectly for me.  I also think the first "verse" should have been edited ... goes on too long for my taste.  That all being said, it's a beautiful Liam song.

Where's My Room

My comment - I have a completely different take on "Where's My Room".  I think it is a brilliant, brilliant song.  I heard Neil talk about it and how it's a musical and lyrical portrait of what it's like to walk through a hotel or through life knocking on doors, entering some and exiting, all the while looking for home. It's such a magnificent song. I get chills just thinking about the song. And the last two minutes (beautifully arranged by Victoria Kelly) is off the chart amazing.  To me, this song is a career achievement. On my playlist, I've moved this song to #2 after Island of Peace and I love it there.

Anger Plays a Part

My comments - I also adore this "Anger".  Liam wrote it but I heard Neil talk about it and how they decided to have a long coda for the song to symbolize a sort of mindfulness as one embraces anger and moves through it.  Neil said that the song is about how anger is a part of life and how it can have a vital part in healing and recovery.

Troubles

My comments - really catchy song. I can see why it was the bonus track, but I also think it should have been included on the main album as it provides some energy.

Listen

My comments - "Listen" is one of my favorite Neil songs of all-time and that's saying a lot.  First, it's a spectacular lyric. How brilliant is that first line ... and how brilliant is the line "silence has a purpose, I don't fear it anymore" ... such a great lyric.  I had the good fortune to hear Neil play this song on solo piano and it's something that will stay with me forever. Such a powerful song. The vocal here on the studio version is plaintive and a bit sorrowful which adds to the power for me. Love, love, love this song.

Any Other Way

My comments: I also love this song ... it flows beautifully. Doesn't necessary "go" anywhere but there's a power to this song.  A magical quality that draws me in every time I hear it.  Love Liam's vocal on this one.

Back To Life

My comments - "Back To Life" is the most classic Neil song on the record. I would call it a perfect song. Perfect verses, perfect chorus, perfect bridge, and perfect coda. Love it.

Hiding Place

My comments - I also love "Hiding Place". Again, it's one of those wandering songs. Takes the listener on a musical journey to undercover what lies beneath the surface in our hiding places where there is no shadow.  The song gives me major chills.

Ghosts

My comments - "Ghosts" is growing on me.  Felt a bit weird to me at first but it's definitely catchy and would be the single if the album were released in the 80's.

We Know What It Means

My comments - this is a real sentimental song and the lyric is a little clumsy but I love the sentiment and I love the music.  Gives me a lump in the throat.

Hold Her Close

My comments - "Hold Her Close" may be the best song Liam has ever written. An instant classic.  Perfect song.

Tnx, Sugar Mouse, you are very kind

I am glad for you to enjoy this album in a way I cannot, and to see most of the songs in different angle than I am. I remember my feelings when I listened Out of Silence for first few times, that wonderfull emotions, probably you feel it again with this album Unfortunately, this new album is far from that to me. I listened Out of Silence last night after more than a month, and realised once more that nothing on Lightsleeper is on same level with Love is Emotional, Chameleon Days, Widows Peak, Terorrise Me, I know different. Only Hold her Close comes near to that, but to be honest, Liams songwriting isnt on same level as Neils, so something missing, hard to put finger what. And, add to that I think that songs with more Liams influence turned out just fine, but Neils songwriting and singing here is main problem, he is the one who was complitety unfit, in my opinon ofcourse.

I think Lightsleeper is a fabulous record.

Whilst I have liked the previous records from Pajama Club, Dizzy Heights and Out of Silence, I think Lightsleeper is superb and possibly draws from all of the best bits of these but for me it also stands closely with both Finn and Try Whistling This (2 records that I really love) and these records also involved Tchad Blake who I think has been involved here too. 

Wrapped up in the all the social media and promotion was a comment from either Neil or Liam that called the record "a warm bath for the ears" - I think this is how I feel about lightsleeper already. There is a really warm, intimate and calm atmosphere within these songs. I think I'm already lining it alongside Finn which I think is different record but has a similar atmosphere. 

 

 

Can someone who has liner notes please tell me who plays drums on Where’s My Room?  Is it Elroy, Mick Fleetwood, or someone else?

I have grown to really love the combination of strings and “I Am the Walrus” Beatley drums towards the end of the track.  

I agree with a lot of the comments here that have been better thought out than my own. 

I feared a Neil/Liam collaboration as I thought it would be a bit too experimental and pointless. If I'm honest, I probably feared another Pajama Club, which is by some margin my last favourite album that Neil has been a key contributor too. Strangely I think this does have a PC vibe on places (and also Sun Came Out), but in the main, I'm really enjoying it. What surprised me is that most of my favourite tracks are 'Liam' tracks. 

I think my only real low point is the first half of 'Where's My Room?'  which does nothing for me, and it's a personal shame that it's so early on the album as it kills the start a bit. Ghosts isn't great either. 

I think Anger, Any Other Way and Hold Her Close are all very good songs.

It's seems clear to me that everything after Time On Earth has been divisive. In my view, Dizzy Heights is probably the best thing since then, followed by Out of Silence. Others on here - bigger fans than me - have totally different opinions on those albums, and the ones I'm less keen on. I think Neil's songwriting has changed significantly, and it would seem what interests him too (and the world of music). I can see why others are turned off by Dizzy Heights or Lightsleeper, though when looking at a move from the pop of Crowded House to more experimental stuff, you could argue the jump to Try Whistling This was bigger than anything since. I think only Intriguer was an attempt to record a 'Crowded House' album, and everything else has been moving in different directions. 

Wheres my room isn't my favourite track on the record but that and Ghosts are what bring the record to life - they are so different to the quietness that is there and I think give it the depth. I did think 'you what!!' when I heard Ghosts for the first time but I love it now!

What I like is the 'freak out' they are compared to say Listen or Hold Her Close. The diversity of the tracks is what makes it. They are the bullets in my hairdo contrasting to Wheres my soul or paradise on Finn. 

 

brownie posted:

Can someone who has liner notes please tell me who plays drums on Where’s My Room?  Is it Elroy, Mick Fleetwood, or someone else?

I have grown to really love the combination of strings and “I Am the Walrus” Beatley drums towards the end of the track.  

Check this out! "Where Is My Room" begins with beats programmed by Liam. Then Kody Nielson (The Mint Chicks) comes in drumming for the 2nd movement. Then Neil plays drums for the 3rd movement followed by Liam on drums for the 4th and final movement of the song. So many drummers!

Paināporo posted:
brownie posted:

Can someone who has liner notes please tell me who plays drums on Where’s My Room?  Is it Elroy, Mick Fleetwood, or someone else?

I have grown to really love the combination of strings and “I Am the Walrus” Beatley drums towards the end of the track.  

Check this out! "Where Is My Room" begins with beats programmed by Liam. Then Kody Nielson (The Mint Chicks) comes in drumming for the 2nd movement. Then Neil plays drums for the 3rd movement followed by Liam on drums for the 4th and final movement of the song. So many drummers!

Wow, so I guess Liam on drums is the part I’m talking about.  Thanks!

koabac posted:

I've just noticed that, not only does the vinyl have the "Trouble" bonus track, but the entire tracklisting is reordered from the digital download (which, I assume is the same as the CD?). There is SOME sense of connectivity between the songs, at least, in terms of atmospherics and moods and I wonder if the rearrangement makes a large difference and which is better? The whole album is a dreamy journey and moving the songs around could make a huge difference in terms of overall impact. 

Has anyone listened to both versions of the two different running orders and have preference? My sense is that the digital download and CD would be ordered with an ear for hearing it all straight through without a break, turning over discs and stuff, but flow is flow and I'm surprised they changed the order THAT much in the two versions. 

Thoughts? Preferences? Is there an even better ideal running order? Maybe the digital/CD tracklist with "Troubles" just added at the end? Curious...

My vinyl doesn’t have trouble ?! ...

 

2nd listen . Late last night . Atmospheric and lovely to chill out to , but no real songs of distinction that hit me . Just some nice moments ...

stuartjb posted:

My vinyl doesn’t have trouble ?! ...

 

2nd listen . Late last night . Atmospheric and lovely to chill out to , but no real songs of distinction that hit me . Just some nice moments ...

Pretty sure all vinyl versions have Troubles. It is atmospheric and great for a chill out. A couple pop gems hidden in there, though. Strongly recommend Neil's "We Know What It Means".

Paināporo posted:
stuartjb posted:

2nd listen . Late last night . Atmospheric and lovely to chill out to , but no real songs of distinction that hit me . Just some nice moments ...

Pretty sure all vinyl versions have Troubles. It is atmospheric and great for a chill out. A couple pop gems hidden in there, though. Strongly recommend Neil's "We Know What It Means".

Agree completely there. Listened to the album for the first time in a few days today, and was struck by this one. Would be a great end to a gig someday. 

So far I'm really loving Lightsleeper! It's particularly nice because there are certain moments where you can really hear Liam's influence on the writing and production. I've seen some people comment on the sonics of the record, and I really couldn't agree more on that. I think it's one of the best Finn releases, sonically speaking, in a long time. Everyone Is Here is kind of a sonic triumph in my mind, and this honestly isn't far off from that. Obviously not at all the same kind of record, but in terms of the mixes and production choices it's up there for me.

"Listen" is really so beautiful. I think the shift towards piano-centric stuff for Neil has obviously been slowly happening really since Time On Earth ("Heaven," "Pour Le Monde," etc) and I welcome that, honestly. I think there's been pretty consistently great stuff in that realm. That's not to say I don't miss the more guitar-driven stuff, but I can understand needing to step away from that instrument and even just gravitating to another instrument from a compositional standpoint. I'd love to see him return to guitar more prominently (FM, perhaps?) but, like a lot of y'all, I'm just glad he still has quality output on a consistent basis. 

Tchad Blake is such a brilliant guy that I had high hopes for this project on that level, and I'm really satisfied. Liam as a singer is just so great, too, and I think they've done some really wonderful work together so far. The best thing about it is that Liam really is such a different guy musically speaking, so it is kind of worlds colliding despite them being father and son. There are threads between them of course, but they certainly have different musical identities and the combo really landed, for my ears anyway. There's some stuff on the last couple of records, and Lightsleeper, that I don't necessarily find myself going back to a lot, but I think that could be said about a lot of artists and a lot of albums. I appreciated Dizzy Heights from the perspective of wanting to branch out (Dave Fridmann, etc), but it's not one I honestly go back to as much overall (aside from "Pony Ride," which is a gem, and a couple others). Out Of Silence I loved a lot (the whole experience of that just felt like a great gift to the fans to a large degree), but I think the new record is just very special. 

I am more and more impressed with Liam as I continue to listen to Lightsleeper, which has been a stupid amount of times now.

My initial impression was that Neil and Liam brought out the best in each other.  I still think that.  But now I’m starting to think beyond that.  I think this album is Liam’s best work.  After Painaporo posted the drumming credits for Where’s My Room, now I know that Liam is responsible for my single most favorite thing on this album:  the drums at the end of that track, played along with the strings.

I don’t have access to all the details about who played what on this album since I only bought the digital files, but I feel like Liam has really come into his own on this album.  I wish liner notes would come with digital files!

I think Monsieur Nicks thoughts on the album musically pretty much are the same as mine (right down to feelings about certain songs) so I don’t need to repeat that.

After hearing most of the songs on the tour, I did have some concerns. Like many I was hoping for an upbeat guitar album , and after hearing the songs on tour, I knew it wouldn’t be that! I much prefer Neil with a guitar strapped to him rocking out than behind a keyboard.

So while this isn’t the album I originally was hoping for, it is a work of art that I can appreciate on a number of levels.

I find it interesting to compare with Out of Silence. My favorite part of the OoS sessions was the gig where Neil did What’s The Matter With You, Mind Over Matter and Hole In The Ice. That rocked and was almost the opposite of the other sessions.

I really appreciate Out of Silence for the recording live concept, and think the songs are strong but struggle with it as an album. As a packaged album, it has a pretty awful cover and the album just feels to “samey” to me. I enjoy hearing most songs when they appear on a random playlist but it’s not an album I would play from beginning to end. It not a vinyl album I would take off my shelf, appreciate the artwork as I take out the vinyl then savor putting it on and listening to the album through.

Light Sleeper is different - I do savor taking out the vinyl and listening to all four sides from beginning to end. I find it extraordinarily well crafted. It sounds great sonically (as many have commented on) and flows really well as an album. 

It was also great to receive the vinyl in the mail the day it was released. It was a joy to open. I purchased the tea towel package and loved the way the vinyl was wrapped in the tea towel with the signed picture and badges with the closed eye. It is a beautifully put together double album with the lyrics and credits on the sleeves. 

My only gripe is that Troubles isn’t on the vinyl download code. I would like to be able to have a full digital copy of the album I bought rather than being a song short.

Whysus posted:

I think Monsieur Nicks thoughts on the album musically pretty much are the same as mine (right down to feelings about certain songs) so I don’t need to repeat that.

After hearing most of the songs on the tour, I did have some concerns. Like many I was hoping for an upbeat guitar album , and after hearing the songs on tour, I knew it wouldn’t be that! I much prefer Neil with a guitar strapped to him rocking out than behind a keyboard.

So while this isn’t the album I originally was hoping for, it is a work of art that I can appreciate on a number of levels.

I find it interesting to compare with Out of Silence. My favorite part of the OoS sessions was the gig where Neil did What’s The Matter With You, Mind Over Matter and Hole In The Ice. That rocked and was almost the opposite of the other sessions.

I really appreciate Out of Silence for the recording live concept, and think the songs are strong but struggle with it as an album. As a packaged album, it has a pretty awful cover and the album just feels to “samey” to me. I enjoy hearing most songs when they appear on a random playlist but it’s not an album I would play from beginning to end. It not a vinyl album I would take off my shelf, appreciate the artwork as I take out the vinyl then savor putting it on and listening to the album through.

Light Sleeper is different - I do savor taking out the vinyl and listening to all four sides from beginning to end. I find it extraordinarily well crafted. It sounds great sonically (as many have commented on) and flows really well as an album. 

It was also great to receive the vinyl in the mail the day it was released. It was a joy to open. I purchased the tea towel package and loved the way the vinyl was wrapped in the tea towel with the signed picture and badges with the closed eye. It is a beautifully put together double album with the lyrics and credits on the sleeves. 

My only gripe is that Troubles isn’t on the vinyl download code. I would like to be able to have a full digital copy of the album I bought rather than being a song short.

This post is so in tune with my thoughts on both albums ( word for word actually ) I could have written this myself ! 

I knew troubles wasn’t on my download !!

I've managed to listen to Troubles now and having become used to the running order of the CD / MP3 version, it doesn't fit that easily to me. The mood seems different to the other 11 songs - feels a little bit of a B side to me. 

Personally, I think the 11 as they are presented are best, perhaps some of this is due to increasing familiarity with the songs and the order - I suppose those who have been listening to the Vinyl may prefer the record including troubles and sequenced in that order? 

That all said - 1 month on, I think Lightsleeper is brilliant and up there with the best records either Neil or Liam have released. I was really looking forward to this once I read it was coming back at the end of last year and it has not disappointed. 

 

 

Enjoying some songs much more than others.

The first 3 tracks (IMO) are the weakest and I normally start the Album from track 4.

The rest of the album is pretty good. 

Hiding Place drags a little but the other songs (tracks 4-11) are very enjoyable.

Kiwi posted:

Enjoying some songs much more than others.

The first 3 tracks (IMO) are the weakest and I normally start the Album from track 4.

The rest of the album is pretty good. 

Hiding Place drags a little but the other songs (tracks 4-11) are very enjoyable.

It's funny isn't it, how people have completely different tastes? The first three tracks are by far my favourite on the album (I also really like Ghosts). It's the ballad type ones that really don't do it for me. I wish they'd kept the whole album in the same vein as the first 3 tracks or so. And I wish there'd been more Connan Mockasin in the mix. Some good tracks on here though and I've returned to the album several times. I've got tickets to see them in January. Am more interested in this type of music live than CH.

Mariola posted:

Easy forgetable album, already forgotten by the world and most of the fans (in too short time period)...sory folks (specialy Neil and Liam), but thats how it is...

Not forgotten by me.  Not by a long shot.  I would go to a show supporting this album in a heartbeat if it comes to the NYC area.  This album got lost in Neil’s Fleetwood Mac fling.

Mariola posted:

Easy forgetable album, already forgotten by the world and most of the fans (in too short time period)...sory folks (specialy Neil and Liam), but thats how it is...

I don’t agree with this. It is a unique album that has been released with virtually no promotion or tour, just as all focus is turning to Neil in Fleetwood Mac. That doesn’t make it forgettable. The timing for it is just very unfortunate. 

I personally think it is one of Neil’s more memorable albums because it is different (like The Finn album was when that came out). But like a lot of Neil’s recent work, I completely get that it just won’t resonate with all fans and could even alienate some. I can respect that, but think it is a stretch to say it has been forgotten by most of the fans. 

Whysus posted:
Mariola posted:

Easy forgetable album, already forgotten by the world and most of the fans (in too short time period)...sory folks (specialy Neil and Liam), but thats how it is...

I don’t agree with this. It is a unique album that has been released with virtually no promotion or tour, just as all focus is turning to Neil in Fleetwood Mac. That doesn’t make it forgettable. The timing for it is just very unfortunate. 

I personally think it is one of Neil’s more memorable albums because it is different (like The Finn album was when that came out). But like a lot of Neil’s recent work, I completely get that it just won’t resonate with all fans and could even alienate some. I can respect that, but think it is a stretch to say it has been forgotten by most of the fans. 

Agreed. Lightsleeper is a very quality album. That being said, it won't appeal to fans of Split Enz or early Crowded House but it's a great album nonetheless.

Whysus posted:
Mariola posted:

Easy forgetable album, already forgotten by the world and most of the fans (in too short time period)...sory folks (specialy Neil and Liam), but thats how it is...

I don’t agree with this. It is a unique album that has been released with virtually no promotion or tour, just as all focus is turning to Neil in Fleetwood Mac. That doesn’t make it forgettable. The timing for it is just very unfortunate. 

I personally think it is one of Neil’s more memorable albums because it is different (like The Finn album was when that came out). But like a lot of Neil’s recent work, I completely get that it just won’t resonate with all fans and could even alienate some. I can respect that, but think it is a stretch to say it has been forgotten by most of the fans. 

Great to see that there are few fans who actualy like Lightsleeper, but it says nothing about its value... album didnt get almost any attention outside fan base, with this album wont be any new fans (not only for non promotion reasons), there are almost no critic praises above average, and finaly, there is no actual attention here...if you compare it to released CH discs few years ago, or Intriguer, it is just drop in water.., and last but not least, and most important to me, there is no single memorable melody on that album, no interesting twists, turns and hooks...boring Neil with songs which in time of CH would be on C side or teared apart by Mitchel Froom (even didnt remember their names so must look for  song titles): Hiding Places, We know what it means, than songs in which artists obviously enjoy much more than audience like Where s my room and Meet me in the air, songs which potential stucked in the lack of inspiration or lousy nailing like Listen and Anger plays a Part... what we have good here is Liam in pretty good shape, but honestly with much less music potential and talent than Neil or worlds A league...sory to them, sory to fans, but thats just how it is...

Mariola posted:
Whysus posted:
Mariola posted:

Easy forgetable album, already forgotten by the world and most of the fans (in too short time period)...sory folks (specialy Neil and Liam), but thats how it is...

I don’t agree with this. It is a unique album that has been released with virtually no promotion or tour, just as all focus is turning to Neil in Fleetwood Mac. That doesn’t make it forgettable. The timing for it is just very unfortunate. 

I personally think it is one of Neil’s more memorable albums because it is different (like The Finn album was when that came out). But like a lot of Neil’s recent work, I completely get that it just won’t resonate with all fans and could even alienate some. I can respect that, but think it is a stretch to say it has been forgotten by most of the fans. 

Great to see that there are few fans who actualy like Lightsleeper, but it says nothing about its value... album didnt get almost any attention outside fan base, with this album wont be any new fans (not only for non promotion reasons), there are almost no critic praises above average, and finaly, there is no actual attention here...if you compare it to released CH discs few years ago, or Intriguer, it is just drop in water.., and last but not least, and most important to me, there is no single memorable melody on that album, no interesting twists, turns and hooks...boring Neil with songs which in time of CH would be on C side or teared apart by Mitchel Froom (even didnt remember their names so must look for  song titles): Hiding Places, We know what it means, than songs in which artists obviously enjoy much more than audience like Where s my room and Meet me in the air, songs which potential stucked in the lack of inspiration or lousy nailing like Listen and Anger plays a Part... what we have good here is Liam in pretty good shape, but honestly with much less music potential and talent than Neil or worlds A league...sory to them, sory to fans, but thats just how it is...

Sorry, we will have to just agree to disagree. How you feel about an album is how you feel, but it is not "just how it is". It is personal taste and preference. Music will always be very subjective.

I think Light Sleeper has way more interesting twists and turns than Intriguer (my least favourite of all Neil's work), and the hooks and melodies are subtle - which for me makes them more interesting. I think Light Sleeper is completely inspired. On the other hand I found Intriguer to be a mess, like Neil was caught between what he thought Crowded House should sound like, and the actual music he wanted to make himself (that eventually came out in Dizzy Heights). To me, it sounded like it was originally inspired while the Crowdies were on the road (and some of that comes through in the excellent deluxe bonus disc - which I love), but it was overworked, second guessed, and completely lost its way in the studio. I am only mentioning this to show, that you just can't generalise on how people perceive music. I love that some people really like Intriguer. For me it is a mess, for others it is a masterpiece. 

If we are talking critics, it looks like they were divided much like the fan base. Both Q Magazine and Uncut gave Light Sleeper an 80% (which I would rate above average), but the same magazines gave Intriguer 60%. Mojo has the opposite with Intriguer 80% and Light Sleeper 60%.

Pop Matters gave Light Sleeper its worse review 50%, (it gave Intriguer 70%). I can get that - I wouldn't call Light Sleeper a pop album. I think that is the problem - if you are rating it as a pure pop album, you will be disappointed. It is certainly not what I would call pop. And Crowded House could produce incredible pure pop music. If somebody loves Crowded House, and specifically compare Light Sleeper to those expectations, then I can understand they would be disappointed. 

Here is a 5 star review of Light Sleeper that describes it as "a work of genius": https://www.noted.co.nz/cultur...eper-work-of-genius/

If you don't like the type of music that Light Sleeper represents, that is fine. But it doesn't mean it has any less musical value. Lets face it, none of Neil's work has ever really taken the world by storm since Together Alone, but it has evoked strong responses from the fan base (both positive and negative). His musical output is quite eclectic in style. It is quite possible that you may love one and album and hate the next, and the fan next to you thinks the complete opposite. But to say one album has less value than the other because of how you feel about it is wrong. It just has less value to you.

I think the fact that it is a different type of music, it will get attention outside the fan base. I thought it was great how Jaffaman's teenage daughter adores Light Sleeper and is getting the album for friends. Its biggest problem will be promotion now that Neil is caught up in the Fleetwood Mac frenzy

I completely respect that you don't think the album is a good reflection of Neil's talents, but to make blanket statements about its lack of value and inability to win over new fans, does make an assumption that all potential fans view music in exactly the same way as you. 

I have friends who have never liked Neil's work, actively hate Crowded House (too poppy, too twee, too old school), but much to my surprise really like Light Sleeper.

Whysus posted:
Mariola posted:
Whysus posted:
Mariola posted:

Easy forgetable album, already forgotten by the world and most of the fans (in too short time period)...sory folks (specialy Neil and Liam), but thats how it is...

I don’t agree with this. It is a unique album that has been released with virtually no promotion or tour, just as all focus is turning to Neil in Fleetwood Mac. That doesn’t make it forgettable. The timing for it is just very unfortunate. 

I personally think it is one of Neil’s more memorable albums because it is different (like The Finn album was when that came out). But like a lot of Neil’s recent work, I completely get that it just won’t resonate with all fans and could even alienate some. I can respect that, but think it is a stretch to say it has been forgotten by most of the fans. 

Great to see that there are few fans who actualy like Lightsleeper, but it says nothing about its value... album didnt get almost any attention outside fan base, with this album wont be any new fans (not only for non promotion reasons), there are almost no critic praises above average, and finaly, there is no actual attention here...if you compare it to released CH discs few years ago, or Intriguer, it is just drop in water.., and last but not least, and most important to me, there is no single memorable melody on that album, no interesting twists, turns and hooks...boring Neil with songs which in time of CH would be on C side or teared apart by Mitchel Froom (even didnt remember their names so must look for  song titles): Hiding Places, We know what it means, than songs in which artists obviously enjoy much more than audience like Where s my room and Meet me in the air, songs which potential stucked in the lack of inspiration or lousy nailing like Listen and Anger plays a Part... what we have good here is Liam in pretty good shape, but honestly with much less music potential and talent than Neil or worlds A league...sory to them, sory to fans, but thats just how it is...

Sorry, we will have to just agree to disagree. How you feel about an album is how you feel, but it is not "just how it is". It is personal taste and preference. Music will always be very subjective.

 

I wont go any further with quotes, its pointless. It is personal but it also can be objective to some point. I know that there will always be some who will say that One Nil is best album Neil ever did, I respect that and his own taste, but its just not universaly acclaim thing. Same with Lightsleeper.. you can even hate Intriguer, but Intriguer definitely made much more attention not only here, but in world generaly...when you talk about critics, with Lightsleeper you have few more than five reviews from influencive media, on Intriguer were almost three times more..plus five times more from less known media..Lightspleeper didnt spawn any attention not only cause Neil joined Fleetwod Mac, but also album didnt interested anyone except fan base, and within us, there are only few who still talks about it, only two months after relesead.

Also, on five last albums, almost every song had its own thread here months after released- where is that now? You honestly think its only for FM sake, so you have to jump on my every criticising this album??? Actually fans listen it every day, enjoy it, anual lists of best albums of the year just wait to put Lightsleeper on it, there are hundred of thousands views of singles on youtube, and everything support your theory that Lightsleeper is actualy great remarkable album? Yeah, wright...

Music is subjective. I adore the Out of Silence album but many others think it's a one-tone forgettable album.  Likewise, Lightsleeper isn't for everyone.  I think it's a great album that fits nicely in the second tier of Neil albums but I recognize that others may find it too dreamy.

There is a belief among fans that the goals of their favorite artists should align with the fans goals for that audience. When fan goals and artist goals are not in unison, divisions in the fandom appear. 

Sometimes when Neil puts out an album, be it Crowded House, Finn Brothers or solo, it's clear that his goal is to take on the world. Get singles on radio and in TV shows, tour every corner of the globe, and produce pop songs that will achieve that goal. Of course, that's the Neil Finn that brought most of us here.

But at this stage in his career, a different Neil Finn has emerged. A Neil Finn who is releasing music for the sake of exploring his own interests and deepening his relationships with his family and friends. I like it when Neil rolls out the giant promotional machine and pushes pop song production as far as his muse will allow. But to call Lightsleeper a failure is to have different goals for the album than Neil Finn. 

I don't think Neil will look back at Lightsleeper or OoS and think those albums were a mistake because they sold poorly relative to other albums or didn't have songs that got in the charts. When you record and release two experimental albums in two years with limited promotion, you're saying you want to try something new and just get it out into the world. I think they would be a failure if Neil was mounting a world tour around them and no one was showing up to shows, but that clearly isn't what he was looking for. 

As a fan, I'm just thrilled that Neil is being so prolific. Neil is not going to write and record albums forever (see Tim Finn). I'm greedy and want the largest Neil Finn collection I can get. The Everyone Is Here/Time On Earth era was an incredible resurgence. And I think it'll happen again. Like Neil says, CH is up on blocks in the garage. Which I take to mean that his aspirations for writing pop albums and doing massive promotion are also up on the blocks. He'll come back around to it, but he's not in any hurry. 

If self indulgent experimental albums with limited promotion are not your thing, it's not that Neil has done anything wrong. It's just that he has different expectations for his current work than we do. I think these recent albums are artistic triumphs and I think that's what Neil and co. were going for so I'm calling them a success. You may disagree, but to call them a failure because not enough critics are reviewing them or their singles aren't on the radio is, in my personal opinion, judging the music by the wrong metrics.

Paināporo posted:

There is a belief among fans that the goals of their favorite artists should align with the fans goals for that audience. When fan goals and artist goals are not in unison, divisions in the fandom appear. 

Sometimes when Neil puts out an album, be it Crowded House, Finn Brothers or solo, it's clear that his goal is to take on the world. Get singles on radio and in TV shows, tour every corner of the globe, and produce pop songs that will achieve that goal. Of course, that's the Neil Finn that brought most of us here.

But at this stage in his career, a different Neil Finn has emerged. A Neil Finn who is releasing music for the sake of exploring his own interests and deepening his relationships with his family and friends. I like it when Neil rolls out the giant promotional machine and pushes pop song production as far as his muse will allow. But to call Lightsleeper a failure is to have different goals for the album than Neil Finn. 

I don't think Neil will look back at Lightsleeper or OoS and think those albums were a mistake because they sold poorly relative to other albums or didn't have songs that got in the charts. When you record and release two experimental albums in two years with limited promotion, you're saying you want to try something new and just get it out into the world. I think they would be a failure if Neil was mounting a world tour around them and no one was showing up to shows, but that clearly isn't what he was looking for. 

As a fan, I'm just thrilled that Neil is being so prolific. Neil is not going to write and record albums forever (see Tim Finn). I'm greedy and want the largest Neil Finn collection I can get. The Everyone Is Here/Time On Earth era was an incredible resurgence. And I think it'll happen again. Like Neil says, CH is up on blocks in the garage. Which I take to mean that his aspirations for writing pop albums and doing massive promotion are also up on the blocks. He'll come back around to it, but he's not in any hurry. 

If self indulgent experimental albums with limited promotion are not your thing, it's not that Neil has done anything wrong. It's just that he has different expectations for his current work than we do. I think these recent albums are artistic triumphs and I think that's what Neil and co. were going for so I'm calling them a success. You may disagree, but to call them a failure because not enough critics are reviewing them or their singles aren't on the radio is, in my personal opinion, judging the music by the wrong metrics.

Good post. So interesting that our expectations and our favorite musicians' expectations may not always be in line. For example, I'm a huge fan of Colin Hay, another great musician who rose to fame in the 80's. Colin used to write great pop songs in his sleep but now he's mostly focusing on melancholic, slow acoustic songs.  Some fans love the new stuff and some yearn for the Men At Work type songs. I've realized that great artists need to follow their muse irrespective of what the fans want.  Artists who follow the wants of their fans usually lose their creative power and end up recycling old material. 

I'm sure I read somewhere that Neil said ages ago that he's like to remove success (and I'm assuming he meant commercial success) as a motivator or a requirement for what he did. 

 

If you look at everything he's done since 1994, you could reason that everything is a different turn on the previous work. I think there have been some super things. The thing I am least interested in is Intriguer - for me it was probably too pop.  I like that I don't know what he will do next and he keeps us all guessing - what bets for a musical with Tim next? 

If you don't like Light sleeper, I'd say your either not giving it a fair listen or to be harder, you just don't want to. Its one of those records that flows smoothly from start to end - usually the hallmark of a very decent record. 

 

Monsieur Nick posted:

If you don't like Light sleeper, I'd say your either not giving it a fair listen or to be harder, you just don't want to. Its one of those records that flows smoothly from start to end - usually the hallmark of a very decent record. 

 

Or ...

Perhaps it was a million miles away from the type of album you hoped to get from Neil & Liam, so you put it aside for a month, then revisited it a couple of times with a set of headphones and a fresher, more open, frame of mind, and now ... 

Yes, you can admit that the album’s soft ambience is well-crafted, and that there are a few nice snatches of melody here and there, but still ... you find that none of the songs, nor the album’s feel as a whole, really grabs you enough to make you WANT to have another listen.

I suppose that if I liked having dreamy, ambient-heavy, sparse-on-melody music playing in the background while I did other things (or did nothing at all), this album would get more spins, and I might develop a better appreciation for its subtleties.  But, alas, I do not.  It's nothing against Neil & Liam, it's just not how I relate to music, theirs or anyone else's.

Hey, I don’t knock or question anyone for liking “Lightsleeper” — art is subjective, after all — but nor do I want be labeled as unfair or stubborn for NOT liking it.  ;-)

Or, 

Its just among worse albums Neil ever did

I listened it quite enough times, thank you, still listening, but its just an album almost without spark, twist and turns, with few self important songs (like Wheres my room), unfinished or badly nailed songs like Anger plays a part and Listen, or just boring going nowhere songs like Hiding places and We know what it means...album on which our favorit musician (Neil) is pretty unfit while his son Liam is excellent, but not capable to reach those heights we were used from Neil. So, results are pretty mixed, obviously.

If someone think I have issues with its slow tempo and dreaminess, I ll say that Out of Silence album is among best things Neil have ever done. Nothing here on Lightsleeper comes close to Love is Emotional, Chameleon Days, Widows Peak, Terorrise Me, and I know different. Like many critics noticed (not just one, from NZ probably, in case of Lightsleeper) OOS is work of genious - excellent songwriting, fraich approach, best Neils singing maybe ever, fantastic use of choir as additional instrument in most of the songs. Almost nothing of that spark appeared on Lightsleeper, just an album which was destined to be produced one day, but without real cohesivenes beetwen musicians or well known lucidness from Neil.

You dont believe me, and still think its just matter of that I listened Lightsleeper "only" 10 times? Fair enough, just google Out of Silence reviews and Lightsleeper reviews, youll see that first two pages of OOS reviews are almost all between 4 and 5 stars, while Lightleeper are most 3 stars, or few 4 and 2 stars reviews. Difference is obvious, and well noticed even on 5 listenings.

But, since loud minority is again in force here about this question, I probably wont wright anyhing more about it. Enjoy in Lightsleeper, I also enjoy in some parts of it, but it doesnt mean that Lightsleeper is not among lowest points in Neils carreer. Thanks for reading.

Mariola posted:

Or, 

Its just among worse albums Neil ever did

I listened it quite enough times, thank you, still listening, but its just an album almost without spark, twist and turns, with few self important songs (like Wheres my room), unfinished or badly nailed songs like Anger plays a part and Listen, or just boring going nowhere songs like Hiding places and We know what it means...album on which our favorit musician (Neil) is pretty unfit while his son Liam is excellent, but not capable to reach those heights we were used from Neil. So, results are pretty mixed, obviously.

If someone think I have issues with its slow tempo and dreaminess, I ll say that Out of Silence album is among best things Neil have ever done. Nothing here on Lightsleeper comes close to Love is Emotional, Chameleon Days, Widows Peak, Terorrise Me, and I know different. Like many critics noticed (not just one, from NZ probably, in case of Lightsleeper) OOS is work of genious - excellent songwriting, fraich approach, best Neils singing maybe ever, fantastic use of choir as additional instrument in most of the songs. Almost nothing of that spark appeared on Lightsleeper, just an album which was destined to be produced one day, but without real cohesivenes beetwen musicians or well known lucidness from Neil.

You dont believe me, and still think its just matter of that I listened Lightsleeper "only" 10 times? Fair enough, just google Out of Silence reviews and Lightsleeper reviews, youll see that first two pages of OOS reviews are almost all between 4 and 5 stars, while Lightleeper are most 3 stars, or few 4 and 2 stars reviews. Difference is obvious, and well noticed even on 5 listenings.

But, since loud minority is again in force here about this question, I probably wont wright anyhing more about it. Enjoy in Lightsleeper, I also enjoy in some parts of it, but it doesnt mean that Lightsleeper is not among lowest points in Neils carreer. Thanks for reading.

I don't disagree much. For me, Silence is in the top tier of anything Neil has ever done. Right there with Together Alone and Woodface. A masterpiece. Lightsleeper is good and I enjoy it and it would be a great album for most musicians. For Neil, it's just a solid mid- level album. Good but not great. I suspect the album would be a lot better and more emotional if it has been produced in a live studio like Silence was. 

Sugar Mouse posted:

I don't disagree much. For me, Silence is in the top tier of anything Neil has ever done. Right there with Together Alone and Woodface. A masterpiece. Lightsleeper is good and I enjoy it and it would be a great album for most musicians. For Neil, it's just a solid mid- level album. Good but not great. I suspect the album would be a lot better and more emotional if it has been produced in a live studio like Silence was. 

Yes, I know you and me was and still are maybe bigest fans of OOS ever! I enjoy sharing that feelings with you. I can go with describing Lightsleeper as "good" album, but in Neils case is "only good", in a way One Nil or Pajama Club was good, but for me, far from his best, or what hes capable of. I dont know Liams opus that much, but from this point I think he s reach his top with Lightsleeper, and I am glad for tham, speccialy for Liam that they shared album together. But, I wish Neil was more fit, more lucid, more sparkled than he was on that album.

Thats the thing, I think Lightsleeper is about what I would have expected from Neil or Liam. If you look at Pajama club, Dizzy heights and to some extent out of silence, it sits neatly within those records. This is something that they have worked on over a period of about 3 years and has been nurtured carefully. 

 

I genuinely amazed that anyone could think this is the worst thing he's ever done - thats quite a strong comment, don't you think? I mean no spark, songs that go nowhere.... maybe you need to turn the volume up a bit :-)

First full listen, vinyl version:

so far I’ve enjoyed the record.  I hear the faint echoes of John Lennon, specifically the feel of Dream #9. Lightsleeper is more complex, more layered, benefitting from Tchad Blake’s ear and trust, but it certainly has that languid, ethereal atmosphere.  

I honestly didn’t expect to like the album already.  Listen is probably my least favorite song, but sometimes when it comes to Finn music, the least favorite becomes the most liked.  Where’s My Room stands out immediately along with Back to Life. I wonder if Chameleon Days would have slotted well on this record.  I suspect so.  

we’ll see how it grows with repeated listens.  May I add that I’ve started to call this release the Light Album and Out of Silence the Heavy Album? 

Going to the gig in Edinburgh on Friday . Can't wait - something to look forward in January is a rarity ! 

To that end i'm listening to the lightsleeper album on loop trying to get into it . It's not really working . Don't get me wrong, it sounds good, but apart from a few hooks/ grooves here and there , theres nothing i feel of substance I can "Grab" on to. It's not classic Neil songriting for me in the traditional sense of Distant Sun or Sinner. In the same vein as Pajama club/Dizzy Heights/out of silence , I'd describe it as "vibey". Thats fair enough, but after 4 albums worth , I'm kind of ready for a new direction.

Oh for a "two minutes of silence " or a "Saturday Sun " or an "Instinct" ...

BTW The last track "We Know What It means " sounds very reminiscent of "Recluse" from Dizzy Heights melodically. 

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