New album: "Out Of Silence"... Is he bringing us along for the ride?

Has everyone seen Neil's latest tweet over on Twitter?

Apparently, he wants to bring us along for the ride as he lays down the tracks on his new album. 

Webcasts every Friday in August (His words). 5PM Australian Eastern Time. (GMT +10:00) August 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th & Sept 1st.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

And so, that's how it goes. Never the first, always the last to know! Last To Know-Neil Finn "

 

*There's a lot of good acts around. Plenty of profound performers, but there's only one, who really gets through to me*

Original Post
silent stream posted:

but, um, do we take from this that he has NOT recorded anything yet as we had all been led to believe ?

Or has he thrown out what he had for this live idea?

I don't think Neil or anyone else has specifically said he's been recording his solo album, I think it's just been said that he's "working on it" and our minds naturally went to recording.

He's also been "working on" an album together with Liam - if any recording has been mentioned it's probably in connection with that album.

I seem to recall that Mick Fleetwood's visit a while back involved some recordings. So I too was under the impression that there were recordings in progress.

Whether or not they end up being for a Neil & Liam collaboration, a musical with Tim, some kind of reworking of old CH songs, or another 7 Worlds Collide-type project, we'll just have to wait a little longer...

This is very good news.  Should be fascinating to follow along as the songs "take shape."  Neil Finn said today that this is likely to be his most complex project to date.  And the brilliant Victoria Kelly is helping write the arrangements which may be the best news as Victoria and Neil work so well together. Can't wait!

First, thrilled to be a getting a new NF album.

To dig a little deeper here, I have to admit to having slightly mixed feelings about the process. I mean, judging from his live improvisational songs over the years, alone, if anyone could pull off something more spontaneous, it's Neil Finn. On the other hand, judging from the development of some of my favorite CH/NF songs from demo through final recording, sometimes taking a step back and rethinking a song with a good, objective producer's input creates magic. 

I guess he's splitting the difference here by doing the song composition first (as well as including older, already established songs) and just playing with more spontaneous arrangement ideas in the studio. Plus, I suppose the same kind of rethinking and evolution that happened to "Now We're Getting Somewhere" and "Fall At Your Feet" could happen during the arranging process. Either way, he'll certainly be getting a lot of feedback on the progress, so he'll have an idea what everybody (including the fans) thinks, which he can take into account, in terms of the songs and what to include or not on the final album, if he chooses to. 

I'm very interested in seeing the process and hearing the final results, but some little voice inside is just worried that setting the mixing, mastering and release all on the same date - where just allowing the public to watch the entire process up to that point would have generated enough interest and spontaneity, alone -  may not be a particularly useful risk he NEEDS to take artistically. I'm not sure, exactly, what the point is of rushing the final steps and trying to compact them into one day. He could have attempted it in one day and released it that way if he was thrilled with the results, but leaving himself no escape clause means if he's not 100% happy, artistically, with the results, he's knowingly releasing an album with which he COULD have been completely satisfied had he allowed for a little reflection. 

Ultimately, I have faith in Neil to know what he's doing and to know what he needs to keep himself as actively engaged in the process of creating music as possible at this point in his career. Maybe it's simply a mental bias on my part that I'd prefer to hear a new album without having to consider the context in which it was made as part of the artistic statement (for instance, it's almost impossible to divorce Nick Cave's new album from the context of the tragic loss of his son, which, for me, at least, colors the final results in some way). If one publicly puts unnecessary, purposeful restrictions and limitations on oneself in creating a piece of art, can that art ever truly be viewed independently of those restrictions and limitations? Will there always be an (at the very least, subconscious) addition of "despite the restrictions" or "for an album made under those limitations" to any opinion of the results and/or the sense that somehow the restrictions were a "gimmick" or some reflexive assumption that the results may not be as good as they could have been had the artist not placed those restrictions on themselves (though we'll never know)?

koabac posted:

First, thrilled to be a getting a new NF album.

To dig a little deeper here, I have to admit to having slightly mixed feelings about the process. I mean, judging from his live improvisational songs over the years, alone, if anyone could pull off something more spontaneous, it's Neil Finn. On the other hand, judging from the development of some of my favorite CH/NF songs from demo through final recording, sometimes taking a step back and rethinking a song with a good, objective producer's input creates magic. 

I guess he's splitting the difference here by doing the song composition first (as well as including older, already established songs) and just playing with more spontaneous arrangement ideas in the studio. Plus, I suppose the same kind of rethinking and evolution that happened to "Now We're Getting Somewhere" and "Fall At Your Feet" could happen during the arranging process. Either way, he'll certainly be getting a lot of feedback on the progress, so he'll have an idea what everybody (including the fans) thinks, which he can take into account, in terms of the songs and what to include or not on the final album, if he chooses to. 

I'm very interested in seeing the process and hearing the final results, but some little voice inside is just worried that setting the mixing, mastering and release all on the same date - where just allowing the public to watch the entire process up to that point would have generated enough interest and spontaneity, alone -  may not be a particularly useful risk he NEEDS to take artistically. I'm not sure, exactly, what the point is of rushing the final steps and trying to compact them into one day. He could have attempted it in one day and released it that way if he was thrilled with the results, but leaving himself no escape clause means if he's not 100% happy, artistically, with the results, he's knowingly releasing an album with which he COULD have been completely satisfied had he allowed for a little reflection. 

Ultimately, I have faith in Neil to know what he's doing and to know what he needs to keep himself as actively engaged in the process of creating music as possible at this point in his career. Maybe it's simply a mental bias on my part that I'd prefer to hear a new album without having to consider the context in which it was made as part of the artistic statement (for instance, it's almost impossible to divorce Nick Cave's new album from the context of the tragic loss of his son, which, for me, at least, colors the final results in some way). If one publicly puts unnecessary, purposeful restrictions and limitations on oneself in creating a piece of art, can that art ever truly be viewed independently of those restrictions and limitations? Will there always be a (subconscious, at the very least) addition of "despite the restrictions" or "for an album made under those limitations" to any opinion of the results and/or the sense that somehow the restrictions were a "gimmick" or some reflexive assumption that the results may not be as good as they could have been had the artist not placed those restrictions on themselves (though we'll never know)?

I agree with your concerns about getting the best out of Neil when he allows a little editorial control to pass to someone else but I also think Neil has let himself down a few times by overthinking things. I think many felt that Intriguer ended up losing much of the spontaneity he was seeking once it got to the studio and he started second guessing himself. I suspect that his decision to do this in public (and to mix and master the album in a day while we watch) is an attempt to force himself into not being able to overthink things: he's set himself a deadline he needs to keep.

Finally, I think magic can happen this way: The Beatles famously recorded their debut album in a day (albeit with the addition of four tracks recorded previously) and most of their material was worked up in the studio on the day each songwriter presented their song to the others.

I suspect in truth, that this isn't going to be as "bottom up" as it's being made out. Rest assured the songs are written, the players rehearsed. This is about trying to catch some of that spontaneity I mentioned earlier and, by doing so in public, adds a little excitement that may otherwise be missing.

if nothing else, it shows that our man is prepared to do something new and different even at this (later) stage in the game. Whether it works or not will, as with all projects, depend on the quality of the songs rather than the way they're recorded.

Paul H posted:

I suspect that his decision to do this in public (and to mix and master the album in a day while we watch) is an attempt to force himself into not being able to overthink things: he's set himself a deadline he needs to keep.

Where are you guys getting this idea about mixing and mastering the album all in one day?

As far as I know, we only have the Spinoff article and Neil's announcement video to go on. And neither of them mention mixing or mastering. They just say the album will be recorded in one 3 hour session with songs being played no more than twice.

I tend to agree with those who are saying that Neil can sometimes overthink his songs so studio versions are often vastly inferior to the live versions. Some of the best versions of Neil's songs have been live such as 7 Worlds Collide, Sessions at West 54th, the Auckland concert from 2015, etc. I cannot wait to hear these 11 songs as they evolve and breathe over the next month.

Paul H posted:
koabac posted:

First, thrilled to be a getting a new NF album.

To dig a little deeper here, I have to admit to having slightly mixed feelings about the process. I mean, judging from his live improvisational songs over the years, alone, if anyone could pull off something more spontaneous, it's Neil Finn. On the other hand, judging from the development of some of my favorite CH/NF songs from demo through final recording, sometimes taking a step back and rethinking a song with a good, objective producer's input creates magic. 

I guess he's splitting the difference here by doing the song composition first (as well as including older, already established songs) and just playing with more spontaneous arrangement ideas in the studio. Plus, I suppose the same kind of rethinking and evolution that happened to "Now We're Getting Somewhere" and "Fall At Your Feet" could happen during the arranging process. Either way, he'll certainly be getting a lot of feedback on the progress, so he'll have an idea what everybody (including the fans) thinks, which he can take into account, in terms of the songs and what to include or not on the final album, if he chooses to. 

I'm very interested in seeing the process and hearing the final results, but some little voice inside is just worried that setting the mixing, mastering and release all on the same date - where just allowing the public to watch the entire process up to that point would have generated enough interest and spontaneity, alone -  may not be a particularly useful risk he NEEDS to take artistically. I'm not sure, exactly, what the point is of rushing the final steps and trying to compact them into one day. He could have attempted it in one day and released it that way if he was thrilled with the results, but leaving himself no escape clause means if he's not 100% happy, artistically, with the results, he's knowingly releasing an album with which he COULD have been completely satisfied had he allowed for a little reflection. 

Ultimately, I have faith in Neil to know what he's doing and to know what he needs to keep himself as actively engaged in the process of creating music as possible at this point in his career. Maybe it's simply a mental bias on my part that I'd prefer to hear a new album without having to consider the context in which it was made as part of the artistic statement (for instance, it's almost impossible to divorce Nick Cave's new album from the context of the tragic loss of his son, which, for me, at least, colors the final results in some way). If one publicly puts unnecessary, purposeful restrictions and limitations on oneself in creating a piece of art, can that art ever truly be viewed independently of those restrictions and limitations? Will there always be a (subconscious, at the very least) addition of "despite the restrictions" or "for an album made under those limitations" to any opinion of the results and/or the sense that somehow the restrictions were a "gimmick" or some reflexive assumption that the results may not be as good as they could have been had the artist not placed those restrictions on themselves (though we'll never know)?

I agree with your concerns about getting the best out of Neil when he allows a little editorial control to pass to someone else but I also think Neil has let himself down a few times by overthinking things. I think many felt that Intriguer ended up losing much of the spontaneity he was seeking once it got to the studio and he started second guessing himself. I suspect that his decision to do this in public (and to mix and master the album in a day while we watch) is an attempt to force himself into not being able to overthink things: he's set himself a deadline he needs to keep.

Finally, I think magic can happen this way: The Beatles famously recorded their debut album in a day (albeit with the addition of four tracks recorded previously) and most of their material was worked up in the studio on the day each songwriter presented their song to the others.

I suspect in truth, that this isn't going to be as "bottom up" as it's being made out. Rest assured the songs are written, the players rehearsed. This is about trying to catch some of that spontaneity I mentioned earlier and, by doing so in public, adds a little excitement that may otherwise be missing.

if nothing else, it shows that our man is prepared to do something new and different even at this (later) stage in the game. Whether it works or not will, as with all projects, depend on the quality of the songs rather than the way they're recorded.

I imagine (and hope) you're correct in that this will bring out some new energy and creative zest in Neil. He definitely seems to like to shake things up, take more chances and experiment with his solo albums (rather than with CH) - and the results are always, at least, interesting, and many times transcendent. 

slowpogo posted:
Paul H posted:

I suspect that his decision to do this in public (and to mix and master the album in a day while we watch) is an attempt to force himself into not being able to overthink things: he's set himself a deadline he needs to keep.

Where are you guys getting this idea about mixing and mastering the album all in one day?

As far as I know, we only have the Spinoff article and Neil's announcement video to go on. And neither of them mention mixing or mastering. They just say the album will be recorded in one 3 hour session with songs being played no more than twice.

I got it from this article:

 

http://www.udiscovermusic.com/...-new-album-silence-1

ah ok. Hmm, I love the rest of his plan but this mixing/mastering part kind of worries me. Even someone like Bob Clearmountain, known for his speed, might still take several hours to mix a song (I seem to recall it took him about 10 days to mix Together Alone, which was considered blisteringly fast). Neil also says this album features his most complex arrangements to date.

All of which makes it seem very reckless to mix 11 tracks in one day AND leave time enough to master.

I'm all for the spontaneity and crowd-sourcing of the album recording process. But I wish he'd allow even just TWO days to mix and master.

slowpogo posted:

ah ok. Hmm, I love the rest of his plan but this mixing/mastering part kind of worries me. Even someone like Bob Clearmountain, known for his speed, might still take several hours to mix a song (I seem to recall it took him about 10 days to mix Together Alone, which was considered blisteringly fast). Neil also says this album features his most complex arrangements to date.

All of which makes it seem very reckless to mix 11 tracks in one day AND leave time enough to master.

I'm all for the spontaneity and crowd-sourcing of the album recording process. But I wish he'd allow even just TWO days to mix and master.

Right? I agree with the comments about trying to throw some spontaneity and urgency into the recording process, but I'm not really sure I see the creative advantage of forcing yourself to mix, master and release an album in one day. If, for whatever reason, he really IS attempting to avoid the issues from which some say "Intriguer" suffered, I would think those issues originated long before the mixing and mastering stages. Then again, NF knows himself and how to make albums as well as anyone does, so he must have his reasons. 

BRANDO BRANDT posted:

I hate to be the one to burst the bubble here, but the album is being recorded on August 25 and then released the following WEEK (not day) on September 1.

Its still a tight schedule but quite different than trying to pull it off in 24 hours...

I'm not sure to which "bubble" you're referring, but the "mix, master and release in a day" idea came from here:

"Neil Finn isn’t just releasing his new album Out Of Silence on 1 September 2017, but he is also intending to mix and master it on the very same day."

Which is the first paragraph of this article:

http://www.udiscovermusic.com/...-new-album-silence-1

Maybe I'm somehow misunderstanding what it's saying, but it seems fairly clear. I suppose the writer of the article could have his information wrong. I certainly hope the article is wrong and NF takes, at least, a week to mix and master it. 

 

(Neil Finn) “Every Friday in August at 7pm NZT / 5pm AEST, I will be performing on a live stream from my studio in Auckland. During these Friday sessions you will be witness to a series of musical happenings featuring friends, family, fellow songwriters and singers playing tunes both old and brand new. You can follow the progress of new song arrangements as we build towards the last stream on August 25. This final performance will be the actual recording of my new solo album."

Yep that's exactly right Painaporo. If you're on USA EST then the streams will be 3am Friday morning for you.

The east coast of the US is 14 hours behind Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, etc. 

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra & Hobart will see the streams at 5pm their time (I'll get it at 4:30pm being ACST).

Jaffaman posted:

Mixing will be done over a few days, not just one.

I'm sure you're 'in the know' Jaffa. That was certainly my reading of it. Reading between the lines, 'some' of the recording process will be streamed, but I don't assume that the stream will be 100% of the recording. Then it will be mixed, etc within 7 days for release. It still seems quite an unnecessarily short time-frame. Intriguer definitely sounded over-worked, but this is almost the entire opposite approach. I hope it works out, and I also hope it doesn't gain negative bias based on how it's being recorded (i.e recorded quick ='throwaway'). I've seen that before with other releases, on a similar principle to the assumption that pay-what-you-want releases must be worth nothing! 

I'm very excited about this. Every Finn release offers something, and I rate Neil's solo work very highly. I hope we might see him in Scotland soon, as I missed the last one due to the birth of our daughter.

Anyone have any idea about a physical release (I'm assuming 1 Sept is digital only)?

Jaffaman posted:

Mixing will be done over a few days, not just one.

Glad to hear, but yeah, the article linked to above is putting out blatantly bad info: "Neil Finn isn’t just releasing his new album Out Of Silence on 1 September 2017, but he is also intending to mix and master it on the very same day."

Neil himself responded to a tweet: "we have 4 days to mix , no worries"

Live recordings can be recorded in an hour of course. Other artists do significant improvisation, and will release those improvisations as recordings.

The length of time do do the mixing will depend on the complexity of the instrumentation. Nobody seems to complain about the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band recording, even though it is exceptionally simple. Typically Ringo's drums, Klaus's bass, and John Lennon on either guitar or piano + vocals. Something like that could be recorded and mixed very quickly. And, that was before modern software.

Modern software (I dunno what Neil uses), makes things and order of magnitude easier. If you record with good mics and techniques in the first place, and are not doing anything too experimental, then a compentent engineer and producer should be able to get something that sounds good in the time available. It won't sound quite as glossy as if they could spend a month on it, but do we always want the music to sound ultra-glossy?

Similar for mastering. I've been impressed with the Izotope mastering software. It includes very well designed presets, and just going through the preset browser often resulted in something that sounded pretty good. With modern loudness metering, then getting an overall master where the tracks sound balanced is not that tricky. Again, there may be less of a consistent sound than if someone had a month to work on the mastering, but is this the end of the world?

The music industry is changing. Technology is cheaper than ever before. Returns from albums are less than they used to be, and even major acts fail to make a profit on albums after spending months in the studio. Perhaps it's time for us to accept something home-made because otherwise many artists may not be able to afford to release as many albums. Stevie Nicks says that she will not record any more albums as she can't make money on them. Stevie Nicks!!!!

Bill Nelson records large numbers of albums at home and releases them direct to his fans. I think he releases an album a month, and it's pretty much just him I think. I thought I'd go check out his latest album to show what can be done, but listening to it now (song 'I'm Dancing') the mix could be clearer, particularly the vocals. https://billnelson.bandcamp.com/ Too much 'verb and not enough frequency/pan separation of the instruments maybe. Though, who am I to second guess Bill Nelson with all he's done.

But even then, I'd MUCH MUCH prefer music recorded and mixed like this to no Neil music at all, if that was the choice. Though, I'm not suggesting that this is a financial decision, I'm sure it's an artistic one. It's just intersected with thoughts I'd had on whether more music should be recorded in less expensive ways these days.

EDIT: Belle&Sebastian's first album 'Tiger Milk' was recorded over three days as a Glasgow College course on the music business would record an album each year by a local band. I'm not familiar with them, but the 1996 album sounds reasonably Neil-like in genre (though maybe not so strong on the songwriting front as a Neil album). I can't see that there would be any reason why Neil's album should sound worse than Tiger Milk, and Tiger Milk sounds fine IMHO. Perhaps the drums are way back,  but that's not an unreasonable mixing choice.

OneIssue posted:

The length of time do do the mixing will depend on the complexity of the instrumentation.

That is the concern. We know Neil is recording with a choir of 12 singers. It also sounds like there are strings on at least some songs, not to mention whatever the supporting band/rhythm section is. There will be a lot of mics and a lot of channels on the mixing board. You're right, a simple arrangement of a few instruments can be mixed quickly, but that's not what this is.

We know they have four days to mix 11 songs. I don't doubt they can work up decent-sounding, traditional mixes in the time allowed. I don't think there will be a lack of polish. I just doubt they'll have time to take this one last chance to explore the construction of the song, the use of fx or novel approaches, or just messing with the sound of things to find something you haven't heard before. I think they'll have time to check the boxes...get the vocal sounding good, find the appropriate drum sound, blah blah...but not time for really interesting explorations.

I don't know who's mixing...Neil's in-house engineers, or is someone being brought in to mix? If it's Neil's people maybe they will be trying stuff out during the rehearsals, and come to the final mix sessions with some exciting plans or options.

How difficult it is to record a string section or choir depends on whether there are featured instruments. Otherwise you can set up a simple stereo pair, and record the whole lot at once. Moving instruments/singers to achieve a balance. Even if there are featured instruments, I would expect that a skilled recording engineer with sufficient equipment could set up microphones and achieve a reasonable sub-mix in an hour. They wouldn't have to record as a huge multi-track even if they did have individual mics. They could do a sub-mix through a mixer, and only record the (say) two channel submix.

If they did use stereo pairs then they would get some room sound on the recording: more than if they used individual microphones. However, I suspect that Neil is not going to be too worried by that.

Can I make it clear that I'm not suggesting that they should do this. I'm just discussing the plausibility of getting a reasonably good sound with the recording strategy that has been described.

@Gryphon

Clearly I would like to keep some sort of a copy of the broadcast sessions. I will definitely buy the digital download and CD when they are available. However, what is your view on capturing the media for personal storage? If this is the kind of thing that you feel Neil would not like people doing, then I'll not do it.

That was it. Five new songs; Widows Peak (premiered in Boulder, Colorado last year) and More than One of You (pemiered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in February 2016) plus Independence Day, Love is Emotional and Second Nature. 

Neil on piano on nearly every song and Elroy Finn on guitar and percussion on some songs. Cello and violin on More than One of You and furthermore a choir and all songs. Plus special guest Nick Seymour from Dublin through Skype on one song!

 

Full playlist:

Gentle Hum

Faster Than Light

Widows Peak

Better Be Home Soon

As Sure As I Am

Independence Day

Starman (David Bowie song)

More than One of You (played four times)

Love is Emotional

Second Nature

 

 

Watched a few minutes of it this morning during breakfast. Didn't stay up for the live broadcast (3 a.m. here), but I enjoyed what I saw, which included the incomplete Widow's Peak. Chuckled when he said "it gets really good after that"!

A bit odd to me to only include 5 new songs. I thought the idea was to watch the new album evolve over three weeks as they rehearse them. Five songs seems a bit skimpy for an album. Anyway, hope it stays up on Facebook long enough for me to watch the whole thing! Thanks, Neil!

A short while ago, the full video was up on Neil's youtube page, so it can all still be viewed. Is it not there now? (I'm catching up on work after being late this morning 'for some reason'.

I'm sure there will be quite a few new songs. Four of the songs were only played in part or as a run through. Only one song seemed to be played with the intention of this being the recording.

I thoroughly enjoyed that!  I watched it on youtube, shortly after the live broadcast ended.  I fell in love with the new song they recorded on the second take.  (Although I think the third take is when they really nailed it.). Gorgeous!  Can't wait for next week's session.  

Thanks to Neil for allowing us all to be flies on the wall for this!

Steve Shealy posted:

A bit odd to me to only include 5 new songs. I thought the idea was to watch the new album evolve over three weeks as they rehearse them. Five songs seems a bit skimpy for an album. Anyway, hope it stays up on Facebook long enough for me to watch the whole thing! Thanks, Neil!

Steve, I think they'll rehearse 3 - 5 other new ones next week and again the week after that. There will be 11 songs on "Out of Silence.

slowpogo posted:

Also, evidenced by a video Neil posted a few hours before they went live, we are not seeing the entire rehearsals. We're catching the tail end. So they rehearsed much longer than we saw, and probably more than just 5 of the new songs.

Makes sense. Obviously, I knew there would BE more than 5 songs, just thought we would see each one each week, to see the "evolution".

You know what? I expect that most of the recording is already done; meaning the backing tracks of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, effects. What is happening these last weeks seem to be "sweetening": backing vocals, strings, maybe horns or the odd guitar solo. You can't really record a Neil Finn album in just three hours and release it in one week

Not wanting to spoil the fun guys! 

 

Guy. posted:

You know what? I expect that most of the recording is already done; meaning the backing tracks of drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, effects. What is happening these last weeks seem to be "sweetening": backing vocals, strings, maybe horns or the odd guitar solo. You can't really record a Neil Finn album in just three hours and release it in one week

Not wanting to spoil the fun guys! 

 

I'm not convinced of this at all. If the songs are well-rehearsed, no reason you couldn't just record a few takes of each one over the course of a few hours, including rhythm section.

Back in the day, Frank Sinatra would record entire albums in an HOUR, with a 20-piece backing band. He'd knock them out one after the other, only one take needed per song.

But I agree it would be nice to see a rhythm section, as lovely as these choral ballads are, an entire album of that could wear out its welcome.

I'm not sure what to think at the moment. 

Great podcast with some very nice vibes, but as for the music...not sure. I loved the lush and colour rich style of Dizzy Heights so the far more stripped back feel of these sessions (if they do represent the sound of the album that is to be Out Of Silence) is taking some adjusting. 

Neil did say there will be a full string ensemble involved. So it shouldn't all be this sparse. Who knows what other surprises are in store.

I'm liking his lyrical approach on the songs we've heard. Last 3 albums or so, I've felt his lyrics were seeming kind of subpar, falling back on trite or tired phrases like "in my head" or "let our hair down"...just kind of boring much of the time. So far I'm not getting that feeling with Out of Some pence.

I'm just happy we're finally getting some new music, and more than grateful to Neil for letting us all be flies on the walls...

With the announcement of this week's session being an unofficial Finn Bros. reunion, I'm through the roof! There's something really magical about Tim and Neil performing together; I feel like everything around them disappears (including age, egos, expectations, etc.), and all that's left are two boys with a real talent & passion for music, just doing their thing.

I will definitely wake up at 3am for this!

 

(Long-time lurker, first-time poster here.)

I've really enjoyed this so far, good new song, the webcast was brilliant, interesting and hilarious (Nick!), though I'm also hoping for some guitars and, well, tempo.

I found this article

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/en...ec3c094acc414f67d901

according to which we'll get a 30-piece orchestra, and Tim, of course. Also no touring, and the album with Liam is finished and will be out in January.

Welcome to the forum Mica!  Thanks for the summary, as I can't access that article without a subscription.

(And completely off-topic, the white kitten in my avatar is also named Mica, although he is now an 8 year old Siamese cat.  Hard to believe I uploaded that avatar 8 years ago!)

Another notable tidbit from the interview - more song releases prior to the album release:

"Tim is also coming in to sing some songs as well. In fact the one we will do for release this week comes from a body of work Tim and I have been doing."

A new single will be released each Friday until the final recording session on August 25.

Neil said in the Stuff.NZ article that they will record the album in full, 11 songs, on Aug 25, and that was apparently after last Friday's session.

So the big thing that is not clear to me, is if the songs recorded and released as singles prior to Aug 25 -- More Than One of You, and whatever others are coming up -- will be re-recorded on Aug 25. That seems to be the implication when Neil says 11 songs, recording the album in full.

So what are these singles then? Special alternate versions to commemorate the process or something? If they think they can better them on the 25th, doesn't bother me to try again, just confused what the intention is.

"More Than One Of You" has started to appear on iTunes. It's available for purchase on iTunes Japan at this moment. 

It also reveals "Out of Silence"'s full tracklist.

1 Love is Emotional

2 More Than One of You

3 Chameleon Days

4 Independence Day

5 Alone

6 Widow's Peak

7 Second Nature

8 The Law Is Always On Your Side

9 Terrorise Me

10 Serious in Love

11 I Know Different

Guy. posted:

"More Than One Of You" has started to appear on iTunes. It's available for purchase on iTunes Japan at this moment. 

It also reveals "Out of Silence"'s full tracklist.

1 Love is Emotional

2 More Than One of You

3 Chameleon Days

4 Independence Day

5 Alone

6 Widow's Peak

7 Second Nature

8 The Law Is Always On Your Side

9 Terrorise Me

10 Serious in Love

11 I Know Different

I hope you mean pre-order.....or has Japan perfected time travel????

Just a heads up that the second webcast is today.

Same time as last week but this time the stream should be available live via YT as well as FB. 

Tim's appearance is scheduled for today.

 

edited to add: Check your iTunes wherever you are in the world. The album is available for pre-order & when you pre order the album, the single downloads automatically. If Neil wants to feed us little tidbits leading up to Aug 25th, then bits of the album may appear in your iTunes libraries. 

slowpogo posted:

Neil said in the Stuff.NZ article that they will record the album in full, 11 songs, on Aug 25, and that was apparently after last Friday's session.

So the big thing that is not clear to me, is if the songs recorded and released as singles prior to Aug 25 -- More Than One of You, and whatever others are coming up -- will be re-recorded on Aug 25. That seems to be the implication when Neil says 11 songs, recording the album in full.

So what are these singles then? Special alternate versions to commemorate the process or something? If they think they can better them on the 25th, doesn't bother me to try again, just confused what the intention is.

I think Neil is either implying that the final recording session will be the non single release songs for the album OR Neil is just being Neil and teasing the daylights out of us.

Somehow, I get the feeling that he gets some sort of pleasure out of keeping us fans in suspense. 

Here is today's play list (11 August 2017)

First half:

The Finn Brothers

1 Disembodied Voices

2 Goin' Out of My Head (short bit of Little Anthony & the Imperials cover)

3 Angel's Heap

4 Mood Swinging Man

5 Only Talking Sense

6 Four Seasons in One Day

7 Edible Flowers

8 Alone

(Neil and Tim Finn singing, playing guitar, piano and conga. Elroy Finn played tea chest bass and electric bass on several songs. A 20 piece orchestra played on the last three songs. "Alone" was premiered today)

9 Fire in Your Belly (Liam Finn song)

10 Forever Dolphin Love (Connan Mockasin song)

(Liam Finn, Connan Mockasin and two others from Los Angeles through Skype with Neil and Elroy in the studio in Auckland)

11 - 15 Second Nature

16 -17 Terrorise Me

(Second Nature was recorded with Neil on piano and singing, Elroy on bass, a 7-piece choir and the orchestra. This will be mixed and mastered later today/tonight and released as the next downloadable single on 18 August. 

"Terrorise Me" was the second premiered song from Out of Silence.)

slowpogo posted:

Neil said in the Stuff.NZ article that they will record the album in full, 11 songs, on Aug 25, and that was apparently after last Friday's session.

So the big thing that is not clear to me, is if the songs recorded and released as singles prior to Aug 25 -- More Than One of You, and whatever others are coming up -- will be re-recorded on Aug 25. That seems to be the implication when Neil says 11 songs, recording the album in full.

So what are these singles then? Special alternate versions to commemorate the process or something? If they think they can better them on the 25th, doesn't bother me to try again, just confused what the intention is.

From Neil's Twitter:

"We will be playing all of the songs again on the 25th We'll decide which version we like for the album The singles will be hard to beat tho"

I'm loving this week's webcast. Guitars (lots of them!), full drum kit, great band, Split Enz songs, Ska/Reggae, rap (bit too much, but A for effort), and Neil's rocking (despite the orange jacket). I've found myself grinning like a mad woman so many times.

And here's today's play list. Guest spots by Swidt and Jimmy Barnes (through Skype). Debut performances of two songs from 'Out of Silence' and another as yet unreleased song (not to be on the new album).

1 Last one standing

2 What's the matter with you

3 Hole in the ice

4 Rest of the day off

5 Weather with you (with SWIDT)

6 Player of the day (SWIDT performance)

7 Loose tongue (with SWIDT)

8 You still got it (unreleased song; sung by James Milne and EJ Barnes)

9 Serious in love 

10 Mind over Matter

11 Shark Attack (with Jimmy Barnes through Skype)

12 I got you

13 Chameleon days (with SWIDT)

The band: Neil Finn (singing and guitar), Elroy Finn (drums), Finn Scholes (keyboards and trumpet), Delaney Davidson (guitar and lap steel), James Milne (bass and singing) with back-up singers EJ Barnes, Hollie Fullbrook, Amelia, Sandy, Harper Finn and Jimmy Metherell (also guitar). 

I quite liked You still got it �� loved the old Split Enz songs tweaked Shark Attack was good considering the delay but I'll  have to watch again for the rest. Rap isn't my thing but weather with you I was sold on. Gosh Neil is such a generous soul for allowing Swidit the floor  #Itakemyhatof

Guy. posted:

And here's today's play list. Guest spots by Swidt and Jimmy Barnes (through Skype). Debut performances of two songs from 'Out of Silence' and another as yet unreleased song (not to be on the new album).

1 Last one standing

2 What's the matter with you

3 Hole in the ice

4 Rest of the day off

5 Weather with you (with SWIDT)

6 Player of the day (SWIDT performance)

7 Loose tongue (with SWIDT)

8 You still got it (unreleased song; sung by James Milne and EJ Barnes)

9 Serious in love 

10 Mind over Matter

11 Shark Attack (with Jimmy Barnes through Skype)

12 I got you

13 Chameleon days (with SWIDT)

The band: Neil Finn (singing and guitar), Elroy Finn (drums), Finn Scholes (keyboards and trumpet), Delaney Davidson (guitar and lap steel), James Milne (bass and singing) with back-up singers EJ Barnes, Hollie Fullbrook, Amelia, Sandy, Harper Finn and Jimmy Metherell (also guitar). 

Haven't got to watch yet, but already excited! So "You Still Got It" is a Neil song, sung by Lawrence Arabia and EJ? Cool! And Harper is back, wish they would bring Elliot in. Girl had some pipes on the family Christmas show. And still no Sharon? Curious.

Okay, I've watched, and enjoyed this session. Glad to see that it at least appears that some songs on the new album will be more band-oriented than strings. I think the variety will be welcome, at least to me. 

I also don't care for rap, but do like Neil having other artists on these "shows". Just kind of hope the final version of Chameleon Days doesn't include the rap. Nothing against the guys, Neil seems really fond of them, just doesn't appeal to me personally.

While not one of his best, I kind of liked You Still Got It and would love to see it turn up on the next Pajama Club disc sung with Sharon, if that ever happens. Could be that disc's answer to Tell Me What You Want.

I have also enjoyed the takes on non-Silence songs. It would be great if the best of them could be gathered onto a bonus disc version of the album, kind of like was done with the Upstairs disc for Intriguer.

Great idea Steve. I thought the version of Last One Standing was exceptional.

I had to dip in and out of this one, and I'll go pack and enjoy it in full. I was pleasantly surprised to hear some One Nil/All songs. Not 100% sold on the rap version of Weather, but I'm happy to hear a fresh take on it. I'm never a fan of rap crossovers tbh. 

Really enjoyed the performance of You Still Got It.

 

Also not a fan of rap but I appreciated the enthusiasm and it was obvious a good time was had by all. I thought the songs off Try Whistling This and One Nil were particularly rocking! It was great that he played some lesser-played songs. Loose Tongue and Hole in the Ice sounded amazing.

I have my preferences when it comes to rap and hip-hop, I do like some, mostly old school but I just find the marriage of rap/hip-hop with pop/rock/country one of  cliche these days.  It always feels like an afterthought where the two styles sleep in separate beds.  Blending the two must be hard.

I really liked Chameleon Days and hope we hear it without Swidt (although I enjoyed their energy and effort.)

Steve Shealy posted:

 

While not one of his best, I kind of liked You Still Got It and would love to see it turn up on the next Pajama Club disc sung with Sharon, if that ever happens. Could be that disc's answer to Tell Me What You Want.

 

I can hear that!  My initial thought was Still Got It  has an old-timey vibe and I can hear a young couple like Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zoey Deschanel duetting the song.  I wonder if James and EJ might actually get the song. (Does Neil give away songs  to other artists?) 

Couldn't watch this Friday live as I was on a plane.

Just watched it now and really enjoyed it.

Rap was good on WWY and LT but should just leave it there.

last One Standing was a highlight but I do really love that song.

looking forward to next week!!

c.houser posted:

So will tomorrow be a marathon session?  How many songs remain to be recorded?

Neil said in today's BBC interview they have 3.5 hours, because that's how long they have the orchestra.

He also said on Twitter, they are still recording all 11 songs tomorrow, including the songs released as singles, just in case they can do even better. Then they will choose which versions to include on the finished album.

slowpogo posted:
c.houser posted:

So will tomorrow be a marathon session?  How many songs remain to be recorded?

Neil said in today's BBC interview they have 3.5 hours, because that's how long they have the orchestra.

He also said on Twitter, they are still recording all 11 songs tomorrow, including the songs released as singles, just in case they can do even better. Then they will choose which versions to include on the finished album.

Are they going to broadcast the entire 3.5 hours? I know they've had some "rehearsal time" in previous sessions that was not broadcast.

Steve Shealy posted:
slowpogo posted:
c.houser posted:

So will tomorrow be a marathon session?  How many songs remain to be recorded?

Neil said in today's BBC interview they have 3.5 hours, because that's how long they have the orchestra.

He also said on Twitter, they are still recording all 11 songs tomorrow, including the songs released as singles, just in case they can do even better. Then they will choose which versions to include on the finished album.

Are they going to broadcast the entire 3.5 hours? I know they've had some "rehearsal time" in previous sessions that was not broadcast.

Good question...don't know but hopefully anything meaningful is streamed. I'm guessing this time the only thing we won't see is sound check and warming up, that kind of stuff.

slowpogo posted:

Good question...don't know but hopefully anything meaningful is streamed. I'm guessing this time the only thing we won't see is sound check and warming up, that kind of stuff.

Update...Neil tweeted that the stream starts one hour before the actual recording begins, so you can actually watch them prepare.

It started streaming at about 7:30 in the UK, yes.

While the webcast is still going on, I have to say: They are insanely well prepared, everything seems in place, barely a wrong note, the camera work is absolutely outstanding, and Team NF even manage to answer question on the youtube chat... The way they've handled this whole thing is just admirable.

Steve Shealy posted:

Just starting to watch, but I must say, I really expected to see some discussion on here about this session. Changes in songs, which versions preferred, new ones debuted, etc. Has no one watched yet, or still digesting?

I'm surprised by the lack of chat too. I'm in the UK and working, so I've been catching up after the event. I've thoroughly enjoyed the sessions so far. To share in the actual magic of the recording is special. I'll enjoy watching it on delay all the same. Can't wait for the album. I'm pretty disappointed his UK store charges £4 to deliver a cd, however. Seems a bit steep. I'll pay it nonetheless, as I'll get the download next Friday and not need to wait for the physical release. 

Tim's back in the house! Awesome! So glad they're not just dubbing in his vocals.

Houser, I've noticed the change in tone from previous weeks. Much more business-like, less chatter, but his patience is obvious. Love the respect and collaboration he shows for Victoria. They work so well together.

Watching now.  A delightful start to a beautiful sunny day.  I  must say that  Alone is growing on me.  The yearning scale on the meloncholy controls is at 11 with this number. 

Right now I'm in a fragile space with my only child heading to college in a few days. I feel a good cry coming.  These songs are only heightening my raw emotions.  Thanks, Neil.��

I was able to watch the first hour of last night's webcast and hope to watch the rest of it on YouTube tonight.  It started at midnight here in California ...

Here are my initial observations:

1. Neil Finn is a freaking musical genius. I've always known that but that was confirmed this month.

2. Victoria Kelly is Neil's secret weapon. Her arrangements are heavenly and add a ton to Neil's songs. The Finn/Kelly partnership is a joy to behold.

3. Neil Finn is a gentleman.  As others have mentioned, Neil has so much patience and good manners which is lovely to see.  What a great role model!

4. Being able to watch these recording sessions was a brilliant idea and one that I hope Neil continues into the future. It's an idea that could even be expanded to include the actual creative songwriting process.  How incredible would it be to watch Neil write the songs and see how he decides on chord patters, lyrical changes, melodies, etc.? 

Overall, thank you Mr. Finn!  Thank you for all the great music and allowing us to have a glimpse into the behind the scenes process.

c.houser posted:

Besides the obvious talent, Neil has an amazing amount of patience and self-control, combined with sharp wit and wonderful manners. What a wonderful example of how to behave whilst at work.

And another reason why I need to listen to this album whilst at work ;-) Neil's gonna keep me in line. 

... and watching these recording sessions has inspired me to buckle down and write my 2nd book.  I have the ideas and outline of the book already done but I've been avoiding sitting down and molding into book form. Watching Neil's creative and work process has motivated me to make it happen. Neil is a true inspiration!

c.houser posted:

Steve, for at least the second time this week, I just spat out words, talking to myself, watching. "Yay, it's Tim!"

I think we are all so (rightly) in awe of Neil, especially watching this process unfold, that some don't give Tim the attention he deserves. If his more recent, theatrical work was more accessible to the masses, perhaps that would change, but there just isn't the traffic on his board. Overall, his work isn't perhaps as consistent as Neil's, but when he is "on", he is sublime.

Also, appreciated seeing the "brotherly hugs" when he entered and exited. They work so well together, good to see the love as well. Hope the talked about collaboration comes to fruition. 

In keeping with the previous weeks I'll post a play list. No huge surprises as it's just the 11 songs of the album plus some interval music.

1 - 2 Second Nature

3 - 4 More Than One Of You

5 - 9 Terrorise Me (including two incomplete takes)

10 - 11 Alone

12 - 14 Widow's Peak

Interval music by Pablo Vasquez

15 Serious In Love

16  - 17 Chameleon Days

18 - 19 Independence Day

21 - 22 The Law Is Always On Your Side

23 - 25 Love Is Emotional

26 - 28 I Know Different

Epic session.  So much to digest.  Now we kind of know that Liam is the producer or at least co-producer.  It seems like they got a keeper for each song today except Serious in Love.  (I'm hoping that Neil uses the version from webcast #3)

Now how tempting will it be for Neil to go back to the songs and use a bit more skullduggery than original intended?  He seemed so relieved but very proud and thankful after the last version of I Think Different

The songs that stand out so far in my ears are:

Chameleon Days, Alone, Serious in Love (webcast #3 version), Terrorise Me, Emotional in Love, I Think Different

and Still Got It (webcast #3; but not on this album)

This list will undoubtedly change.  Say That Again was my least favorite song off TOE.  Now it's the song I must play off that album.

 

"So much to digest" - ain't that right. I, like many others  I think, had a genuine big lump in my throat at the end. 

The extent of tinkering will indeed be interesting and I wouldn't dare to predict anything.

Highlights for me: Chameleon Days and Terrorize me. And I've found myself singing Second Nature happily (and quietly) to myself in the supermarket today. So that one has taken a typical Finn song career from "nice but not brilliant" to favourite within a couple of days. Nice version in the session today as well.

c.houser posted:

I did, Annie.  I felt a shrug from the bench, across the aether as if the song was written to not resolve, but then it finally did, leaving its footprint on a great take. Looking forward to watching the entire show tonight and this weekend.

Same here c.houser. I have to go to work shortly but am looking forward to watching again minus a house of young adults tonight. So my Saturday evening is complete. :-) 

I haven't watched it all yet so I don't know if this is commented on...but I find it unlikely the songs were recorded in album order. I bet they were recorded in an order that made sense logistically for all the technology and musical forces involved, different instrumentations, etc. Possibly Neil hasn't even decided on an order yet.

slowpogo posted:

I haven't watched it all yet so I don't know if this is commented on...but I find it unlikely the songs were recorded in album order. I bet they were recorded in an order that made sense logistically for all the technology and musical forces involved, different instrumentations, etc. Possibly Neil hasn't even decided on an order yet.

Apple Music shows the track order... It is different to the webcast. Makes sense that they recorded the first song last. 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/al...silence/id1268517908

Byrds Talk to Me posted:
slowpogo posted:

I haven't watched it all yet so I don't know if this is commented on...but I find it unlikely the songs were recorded in album order. I bet they were recorded in an order that made sense logistically for all the technology and musical forces involved, different instrumentations, etc. Possibly Neil hasn't even decided on an order yet.

Apple Music shows the track order... It is different to the webcast. Makes sense that they recorded the first song last. 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/al...silence/id1268517908

I just heard "I Know Different" for the first time and now I know why it's the final song on the album.  It's a perfect album closer.  What a song!  And what an album!  Neil has certainly had a tremendous creative burst.

Sugar Mouse posted:
Byrds Talk to Me posted:
slowpogo posted:

I haven't watched it all yet so I don't know if this is commented on...but I find it unlikely the songs were recorded in album order. I bet they were recorded in an order that made sense logistically for all the technology and musical forces involved, different instrumentations, etc. Possibly Neil hasn't even decided on an order yet.

Apple Music shows the track order... It is different to the webcast. Makes sense that they recorded the first song last. 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/al...silence/id1268517908

I just heard "I Know Different" for the first time and now I know why it's the final song on the album.  It's a perfect album closer.  What a song!  And what an album!  Neil has certainly had a tremendous creative burst.

Yes tbh I haven't had such an emotional reaction to a bunch of Finn songs since Everyone is Here.  (Not that this is a brothers album). 

Finally got home and been listening/watching the rest of last night's performance.  Oh my do I love these songs.  "The Law" is a really good one and "Love Is Emotional" is even growing on my.  "Terrorise Me", "Alone", "I Know Different", and "Widow's Peak" are simply stunning.  Masterworks. I'd like to be the first to say that this is Neil's best song collection in a long time - probably since Together Alone.

I only got a chance to watch bits of the first two weeks sessions and initially I thought it was an interesting idea. But I'm about two thirds through watching Friday's recording and I've realised just what an inspired idea it was to record an album live. It's incredible to watch the creative process and to sense the tension in the studio to pull it off in such a short amount of time. I love the "Let it Be" fly on the wall approach.  

The other thing that occurred to me is that I think Neil is at his best when he does something on the spot (I always preferred the live VH1 performance of Nil One tracks to the final album version because it was more immediate and natural).  Perhaps Neil has realised this?

The songs I've heard so far sound great. Like someone else said I hope he keeps going with this approach. It's a much more immersive way to experience an album and imagine what it will sound like when mixed properly and the best takes are arranged. I'm looking forward to hearing the finished album.

PS Is this a first? Has anyone else recorded an album on youtube?

 

 

KEROUAC posted:

I only got a chance to watch bits of the first two weeks sessions and initially I thought it was an interesting idea. But I'm about two thirds through watching Friday's recording and I've realised just what an inspired idea it was to record an album live. It's incredible to watch the creative process and to sense the tension in the studio to pull it off in such a short amount of time. I love the "Let it Be" fly on the wall approach.  

The other thing that occurred to me is that I think Neil is at his best when he does something on the spot (I always preferred the live VH1 performance of Nil One tracks to the final album version because it was more immediate and natural).  Perhaps Neil has realised this?

The songs I've heard so far sound great. Like someone else said I hope he keeps going with this approach. It's a much more immersive way to experience an album and imagine what it will sound like when mixed properly and the best takes are arranged. I'm looking forward to hearing the finished album.

PS Is this a first? Has anyone else recorded an album on youtube?

 

 

... And unlike "Let It Be", the musicians are in a comfortable environment. 

In the era of streaming music, I guess there doesn't have to be one definitive version of an album. 

Theoretically, alternate versions of songs could be added at any time. I like the idea of an album being evolved in this way...kind of like software. 

KEROUAC posted:

I only got a chance to watch bits of the first two weeks sessions and initially I thought it was an interesting idea. But I'm about two thirds through watching Friday's recording and I've realised just what an inspired idea it was to record an album live. It's incredible to watch the creative process and to sense the tension in the studio to pull it off in such a short amount of time. I love the "Let it Be" fly on the wall approach.  

The other thing that occurred to me is that I think Neil is at his best when he does something on the spot (I always preferred the live VH1 performance of Nil One tracks to the final album version because it was more immediate and natural).  Perhaps Neil has realised this?

The songs I've heard so far sound great. Like someone else said I hope he keeps going with this approach. It's a much more immersive way to experience an album and imagine what it will sound like when mixed properly and the best takes are arranged. I'm looking forward to hearing the finished album.

PS Is this a first? Has anyone else recorded an album on youtube?

 

 

I see some have posted that this album isn't their cup of tea but I LOVE these new songs presented in this manner. I've always felt that Neil is at his best when he's spontaneous and "in the moment" and doesn't overthink the production.  And Victoria Kelly is such a fantastic collaborator.  Her joy for the music is clearly evident and infectious. And I adore Neil at the piano where he's so immediate and intense. For those who love Neil's guitar pop songs, this album isn't that.  For guitar pop, we have plenty of great Crowded House albums.  This album is his piano/orchestra album. Dizzy Heights was his experimental album. Each album is what it is and this is a really, really good one.

There have been people here noting Neil tends to "over-tinker" with his albums. One Nil was delayed nearly one year (and partly re-imagined as One All). Everyone is Here was delayed by months after re-recording nearly all songs. Intriguer changed until the very last moment (losing its 11th trackafter initial reports about the "final" track list).

Apparantly Neil feels the same way and recording "Out of Silence" has partly been recorded in this fashion as a reaction to that. Not sure if reactions of Frenz have had an influence, but who knows...? ;-)

I watched the first three web casts live and enjoyed them tremendously. The fourth one I only catched the last hour live during lunch break and the rest after work. I'm holding out on opinions on individual songs because I've learnt in the past these songs take a while to unveal their value. Exception is Second Nature which I've had on repeat on Spotify for a while and love.

This isn't anything Neil hasn't done before in some aspect...Sweet Secret Peace, You're the One to..., All I Ask (yeah I know Tim sings), ENZSO, or even just softer songs like Walking on the Spot, etc. It's just the first time he's made a full album in this vein. I hold out hope for some creative mixing choices, but even if the mix is just a refinement of what we heard on the webcast, I look forward to it and welcome this sort of album into his catalog.

Presumably we'll hear him in rock mode soon enough with his and Liam's album.

A couple things I've learned about enjoying art:

#1 Don't have expectations. Be open to evaluating the artwork on its own merits and not your preconceived notions of what it should be or what you want it to be.

#2 Be a generous audience. Always give the creator the benefit of the doubt and try hard to like something before you reject it.

Generally, just being open to new experiences and letting go of expectations has made me a much happier audience member. I would never say, "yes, I want rapping over 'Loose Tongue'," but I'll be damned if it wasn't freakin' incredible when it happened.

If Neil wants to record an album of piano ballads, I think it's great that he did it in the most interesting way possible. Also, he apparently doesn't plan to tour in support of the album, so he should be free to move on to the next project relatively quickly.

All that being said, I think many of the new songs are fascinating and a welcome addition to the catalog. But I'm reserving judgement until I hear the album. I bet even today Neil and sons are running around the studio like madmen adding little bits and pieces to finish up the songs. No time for over-tinkering, but I bet he's tinkering until the 11th hour!

I might have worried/hoped that recording an entire album live on the internet might lead to a more spontaneous, less rehearsed album. But those fears/hopes were for naught as this album may be one of the most rehearsed and composed album of Neil's career. A little ironic that trying to record an album in a webcast may have led to an even more planned out and structured album.

 

Above the Kitchen posted:

 

This list will undoubtedly change.  Say That Again was my least favorite song off TOE.  Now it's the song I must play off that album.

 

Indicative of the entire TOE record, really. Ten years on and I am still enjoying each song more than the last time I heard it. The album is ageless. Say That Again is one of my favourites, but in my case I realised pretty quickly how great it is.

One thing I'm enjoying about the new group of songs is that the harmonic pallette is much more adventurous, say in a song like Terrorise me. There can be beauty in simplicity too, but there are more twists and turns in melody and chord progressions on these groups of songs and I think the way they are arranged brings those elements to the fore. 

I was listening to just the audio from the webcasts and I definitely think it's a very strong set of songs. Classic Neil Finn melodies and lyrics, just beautiful stuff.

At the same time, I was thinking about my earlier post in another thread about this album and its process, as well as Neil's historical creative process from composition to album release (as I understand it) and I can't help feeling that many of these songs would have benefitted from being more uniquely arranged for each individual song - especially that magical alchemy that happens when he translates piano composed songs to guitars and other interesting arrangement and production approaches. 

I can hear many of them improved by being sped up and moved to guitars, more in the CH or One Nil/All way with all the eccentric touches that give each song a signature. The hooks would leap out more, the music would feel more muscular and assertive, enhancing the gorgeous chord changes and making intricate harmonic musical development within the arrangements clearer.

I think the album will be wonderful and the mix will clarify and help each track feel more distinct from one another, but, at the moment, at least, I tend to agree with those who feel the form has overwhelmed the content in this instance. I will wait for the final results to draw any real conclusions, but I'm not positive this method of recording, in the end, didn't end up being more of a gimmick than the ideal way to make an album. It will be a beautiful Neil Finn album full of beautiful Neil Finn songs and I'll never complain about THAT. I just think this set of songs really could have benefited from an arrangement and production approach that harkened back to Neil's 1986-1998 years - where each song created its own sonic identity while still living coherently and  comfortably within the crowded houses of its particular album. 

I don;'t know. These are just some initial, premature thoughts.

Time will tell - and time is virtually ALWAYS kind to Neil Finn's work. 

koabac posted:

I can hear many of them improved by being sped up and moved to guitars, more in the CH or One Nil/All way with all the eccentric touches that give each song a signature. The hooks would leap out more, the music would feel more muscular and assertive, enhancing the gorgeous chord changes and making intricate harmonic musical development within the arrangements clearer.

I think the album will be wonderful and the mix will clarify and help each track feel more distinct from one another, but, at the moment, at least, I tend to agree with those who feel the form has overwhelmed the content in this instance. I will wait for the final results to draw any real conclusions, but I'm not positive this method of recording, in the end, didn't end up being more of a gimmick than the ideal way to make an album.

I have been talking to a non-internet Finn fan friend of mine over the past weeks following these webcasts, and the thing that keeps coming up in our discussion is the missing hooks.  That is the missing element in many of these songs.  I don't think that is due to the arrangements.  For example, Catherine Wheels and Try Whistling This are very slow, quiet Finn songs, but the way the chord changes and  melodies twist and turn is full of hooks that I don't hear in songs like Terrorise Me or Widow's Peak.

I truly doubt that Neil meant this exercise as a gimmick in any way.  I think he did it to force himself to stop over-tinkering.  Neil just doesn't strike me as a gimmicky type of guy.

I agree, what comes across in all the interviews surrounding this is that he just wanted to get them out there. Now. As a little group by themselves and not as a "Look at all the different things/styles I do" album, since many of the songs seem to have their roots in one and the same night at the piano. Hence also no tour; I think I remember him saying something along the lines of "I haven't really thought this through beyond recording it".

If Neil were into gimmicks, he'd be more into the promotion aspect of his work in general, I think. Which he hasn't been in the past.

"..but the way the chord changes and  melodies twist and turn is full of hooks that I don't hear in songs like Terrorise Me or Widow's Peak.."

It's interesting how we all hear things differently. I can think of few other Finn related songs with more twists and turns / chord changes than the (second half) of Widow's Peak..

By the way, how do you include a quote from someone else's postin a reply? 

I definitely hear melodic twists and turns and lots of chord changes in Terrorise Me and Widow's Peak, but I find them dissonant, rather than pleasing to my ear like the ones in Catherine Wheels and Try Whistling This.  Therefore, I don't consider them hooks, because they don't hook me. . I have been generally hearing fewer hooks (or at least my kind of hooks) in Neil's music from Intriguer forward.  

To quote a post, click "Take Action" on the bottom right of the post you want to quote, and you'll find that option. 

If this doesn't sound too bleak, I've often wondered if musicians lose their gift for melody and hooks as they get a bit older. I'm sure there are countless examples to the contrary, but I was a teenager in the 90s and 00s who listened to a lot of artists who'd been big in the 60s /70s, and I noticed as I followed their back catalogues through to present day, later material tended to lose a bit of spark.

This isn't what I actually came on to post - I just got sidetracked by the interesting discussion about the hooks in these new songs. What I wanted to ask is... Is Tim just featured on the album recording of Alone, or does he play (or even co-write) several songs?

brownie posted:
koabac posted:

I can hear many of them improved by being sped up and moved to guitars, more in the CH or One Nil/All way with all the eccentric touches that give each song a signature. The hooks would leap out more, the music would feel more muscular and assertive, enhancing the gorgeous chord changes and making intricate harmonic musical development within the arrangements clearer.

I think the album will be wonderful and the mix will clarify and help each track feel more distinct from one another, but, at the moment, at least, I tend to agree with those who feel the form has overwhelmed the content in this instance. I will wait for the final results to draw any real conclusions, but I'm not positive this method of recording, in the end, didn't end up being more of a gimmick than the ideal way to make an album.

I have been talking to a non-internet Finn fan friend of mine over the past weeks following these webcasts, and the thing that keeps coming up in our discussion is the missing hooks.  That is the missing element in many of these songs.  I don't think that is due to the arrangements.  For example, Catherine Wheels and Try Whistling This are very slow, quiet Finn songs, but the way the chord changes and  melodies twist and turn is full of hooks that I don't hear in songs like Terrorise Me or Widow's Peak.

I truly doubt that Neil meant this exercise as a gimmick in any way.  I think he did it to force himself to stop over-tinkering.  Neil just doesn't strike me as a gimmicky type of guy.

I echo what others have said. This isn't an album of hooks but rather Neil's melancholy piano album.  Every album has a different style and flavor.  I'm guessing the Neil/Liam album due out in January may have more production and hooks.

My mind has changed several times on my feelings about the style of this album. When I heard the "band" tracks on session two (three?) I looked forward to some variety being in the final product. When I listened to session four, I felt a bit disappointed about the "samey" feeling of everything, especially the last 3-4 tracks recorded. Admittedly, most of my time spent on the sessions has been having it in the background while at work or otherwise occupied, so I haven't exactly immersed myself in it. I'll save that for the final product. But in the midst of my (mild) post-four disappointment, I thought about my fondness for Tim's "The Conversation" disc, probably one of the most "samey" of all Finn-related efforts. I love that whole disc, and the picture it paints, so I'm trusting that "Out of Silence" will eventually stir the same feelings in me. There's no doubt in my mind that the songs are great, I just have to give it time to reveal itself to me.

Steve Shealy posted:

My mind has changed several times on my feelings about the style of this album. When I heard the "band" tracks on session two (three?) I looked forward to some variety being in the final product. When I listened to session four, I felt a bit disappointed about the "samey" feeling of everything, especially the last 3-4 tracks recorded. Admittedly, most of my time spent on the sessions has been having it in the background while at work or otherwise occupied, so I haven't exactly immersed myself in it. I'll save that for the final product. But in the midst of my (mild) post-four disappointment, I thought about my fondness for Tim's "The Conversation" disc, probably one of the most "samey" of all Finn-related efforts. I love that whole disc, and the picture it paints, so I'm trusting that "Out of Silence" will eventually stir the same feelings in me. There's no doubt in my mind that the songs are great, I just have to give it time to reveal itself to me.

I've been listening to the webcast tracks and loving the "samey" feeling. I'm a sucker for an emotional piano ballad so I'm sure not everyone feels the same. I could listen to Neil play an entire concert of piano ballad versions of his old songs in his "Largo"-style.

Sugar Mouse posted:
brownie posted:
koabac posted:

I can hear many of them improved by being sped up and moved to guitars, more in the CH or One Nil/All way with all the eccentric touches that give each song a signature. The hooks would leap out more, the music would feel more muscular and assertive, enhancing the gorgeous chord changes and making intricate harmonic musical development within the arrangements clearer.

I think the album will be wonderful and the mix will clarify and help each track feel more distinct from one another, but, at the moment, at least, I tend to agree with those who feel the form has overwhelmed the content in this instance. I will wait for the final results to draw any real conclusions, but I'm not positive this method of recording, in the end, didn't end up being more of a gimmick than the ideal way to make an album.

I have been talking to a non-internet Finn fan friend of mine over the past weeks following these webcasts, and the thing that keeps coming up in our discussion is the missing hooks.  That is the missing element in many of these songs.  I don't think that is due to the arrangements.  For example, Catherine Wheels and Try Whistling This are very slow, quiet Finn songs, but the way the chord changes and  melodies twist and turn is full of hooks that I don't hear in songs like Terrorise Me or Widow's Peak.

I truly doubt that Neil meant this exercise as a gimmick in any way.  I think he did it to force himself to stop over-tinkering.  Neil just doesn't strike me as a gimmicky type of guy.

I echo what others have said. This isn't an album of hooks but rather Neil's melancholy piano album.  Every album has a different style and flavor.  I'm guessing the Neil/Liam album due out in January may have more production and hooks.

I respectfully disagree. There are hooks all over this album. Brilliant chord changes and evocative lyrics aplenty. It's a really strong set of Neil Finn songs. 

I'm just suggesting that if one were to the these exact same songs and speed about half of them up a bit and apply the same arrangement and production approach used in his 1986-1998 period, more guitar-driven and more eccentric, unique touches that create an individual identity for each track, the results would be really interesting, fun and different. Not BETTER, necessarily, but it would certainly negate any of the complaints I've read about the songs sounding "samey." 

A stately, heavily orchestrated group of beautiful piano ballads is a valid, great concept for a Neil Finn album and I'm happy to have it. 

A "song" is made up of three elements: the chords, the melody and the lyrics. How one approaches the arrangements performance and production of a "song" can completely change the how that song is received/perceived. My point is that I would also love to hear these same songs approached in the CH way. I think it would be a revelation and show how durable Neil Finn's songs truly are. 

I know this may be sacrilegious, but I just created my own "Out of Silence" playlist and made a couple of edits.  I included Neil's song "Guiding Star" as the closing track and it fits perfectly ... for me.  The piano and lyrical content of "Guiding Star" sounds so good right after "I Feel Different".  I also added the week 3 version of "Serious In Love" which I adore.  So here is my playlist. Interested if others are creating their own playlists and what they made be.

  1. Love Is Emotional
  2. More Than One Of You
  3. Chameleon Days
  4. Independence Day
  5. Alone
  6. Widow's Peak
  7. Second Nature
  8. The Law Is Always On Your Side
  9. Terrorise Me
  10. Serious In Love
  11. I Know Different
  12. Guiding Star
Sugar Mouse posted:

I know this may be sacrilegious, but I just created my own "Out of Silence" playlist and made a couple of edits.  I included Neil's song "Guiding Star" as the closing track and it fits perfectly ... for me.  The piano and lyrical content of "Guiding Star" sounds so good right after "I Feel Different".  I also added the week 3 version of "Serious In Love" which I adore.  So here is my playlist. Interested if others are creating their own playlists and what they made be.

  1. Love Is Emotional
  2. More Than One Of You
  3. Chameleon Days
  4. Independence Day
  5. Alone
  6. Widow's Peak
  7. Second Nature
  8. The Law Is Always On Your Side
  9. Terrorise Me
  10. Serious In Love
  11. I Know Different
  12. Guiding Star

I'm sure I will when I have time. My desktop is in the shop, so I haven't been able to "acquire" the webcast songs, but I will definitely add back Serious In Love, and probably will do the James/EJ sung one that didn't make the cut. I liked it. I do like Guiding Star, but I prefer to stick with songs from the same time frame, though I can see how it would fit. Ray of Hope sounds a lot like it, and would probably work as well. 

Cityscape posted:

If this doesn't sound too bleak, I've often wondered if musicians lose their gift for melody and hooks as they get a bit older. I'm sure there are countless examples to the contrary, but I was a teenager in the 90s and 00s who listened to a lot of artists who'd been big in the 60s /70s, and I noticed as I followed their back catalogues through to present day, later material tended to lose a bit of spark.

Having listened to Out Of Silence several times now, I'm pleased to say this isn't a criticism I would level at Neil. I find this new set of songs as hooky and melodic as ever, and can imagine them gracing any of Neil's previous albums (with collaborators, bands or solo) albeit with different arrangements, as it feels like he's tried to heighten the tension and spookiness in some of these productions (like how the vocal harmonies almost seem to be singing a discord in Widow's Peak). It's going to take a few listens to feel properly acquainted with the material, but Chameleon Day is really jumping out to me. Listening to it travelling through the mist on the way into work this morning, it sounded so beautiful I was almost crying.

Cityscape posted:
Cityscape posted:

If this doesn't sound too bleak, I've often wondered if musicians lose their gift for melody and hooks as they get a bit older. I'm sure there are countless examples to the contrary, but I was a teenager in the 90s and 00s who listened to a lot of artists who'd been big in the 60s /70s, and I noticed as I followed their back catalogues through to present day, later material tended to lose a bit of spark.

Having listened to Out Of Silence several times now, I'm pleased to say this isn't a criticism I would level at Neil. I find this new set of songs as hooky and melodic as ever, and can imagine them gracing any of Neil's previous albums (with collaborators, bands or solo) albeit with different arrangements, as it feels like he's tried to heighten the tension and spookiness in some of these productions (like how the vocal harmonies almost seem to be singing a discord in Widow's Peak). It's going to take a few listens to feel properly acquainted with the material, but Chameleon Day is really jumping out to me. Listening to it travelling through the mist on the way into work this morning, it sounded so beautiful I was almost crying.

I wonder if it's more complacency than old age. I think McCartney is an example of this. On the other hand, Paul Simon seems to have had a resurgence of inspiration in his last two records.

Agree that Out of Silence is full of delicious hooks. I think the discipline of finishing the songs before recording has really benefited this album. 

I just saw this article:

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/2...n-album-in-77-hours/

Esperanza Spalding, a jazz bassist and singer/songwriter, announced at the end of July that in September she will write and record an album in 77 hours, all streamed on Facebook.

Interesting timing, no? Neil surely began official preparations for Out of Silence many months before this August. I wonder if Esperanza (massively talented btw) caught wind of this somehow? She doesn't mention Neil in the interview but you have to wonder. Her project is ambitious but smaller in scale (she's not using 35 musicians for her album, that I know of) so I'd assume her project was conceived and finalized after Neil's.

I guess the one thing about Neil doing it this way is it reinforces my penchant for listening more to the live you tube versions rather than the mixed albums even after all these years.  

The space invaders doof on Second Nature is distracting to me after hearing all those lovely takes live. I feel that way with a lot of the flourishes on the album.

 I must also say ,with thanks to Neil ,that because the album came out so quickly after the road test the pang for the original versions was lessened. I don't think I have ever gotten over the how Car Collide morphed. 

 

Byrds Talk to Me posted:
Cityscape posted:
Cityscape posted:

If this doesn't sound too bleak, I've often wondered if musicians lose their gift for melody and hooks as they get a bit older. I'm sure there are countless examples to the contrary, but I was a teenager in the 90s and 00s who listened to a lot of artists who'd been big in the 60s /70s, and I noticed as I followed their back catalogues through to present day, later material tended to lose a bit of spark.

Having listened to Out Of Silence several times now, I'm pleased to say this isn't a criticism I would level at Neil. I find this new set of songs as hooky and melodic as ever, and can imagine them gracing any of Neil's previous albums (with collaborators, bands or solo) albeit with different arrangements, as it feels like he's tried to heighten the tension and spookiness in some of these productions (like how the vocal harmonies almost seem to be singing a discord in Widow's Peak). It's going to take a few listens to feel properly acquainted with the material, but Chameleon Day is really jumping out to me. Listening to it travelling through the mist on the way into work this morning, it sounded so beautiful I was almost crying.

I wonder if it's more complacency than old age. I think McCartney is an example of this. On the other hand, Paul Simon seems to have had a resurgence of inspiration in his last two records.

Agree that Out of Silence is full of delicious hooks. I think the discipline of finishing the songs before recording has really benefited this album. 

Funny how people hear the same music differently. I think McCartney has made the best music of his solo career these last couple of decades...

 

Funny how people hear the same music differently. I think McCartney has made the best music of his solo career these last couple of decades...

but Would you put any of that up with his pre- Pepper, works?  Neil has been more consistent throughout his career.

I'm wondering how Neil has approached the post production on this album .I think its been said that he's added some overdubs , but has he tinkered with any of the stuff that was recorded live ? Are the vocals for instance as they were, or has he "fixed" anything ? I'd be interested to know folks thoughts ...

As "Byrds talk to me " mentioned , I think I prefer this to Dizzy Heights already . It has good songs , but there is something about that record that leaves me a bit cold ...   The inclusion of "Divebomber" didn't help things for me. I think its the least enjoyable Neil song I've heard to date...

stuartjb posted:

I'm wondering how Neil has approached the post production on this album .I think its been said that he's added some overdubs , but has he tinkered with any of the stuff that was recorded live ? Are the vocals for instance as they were, or has he "fixed" anything ? I'd be interested to know folks thoughts ...

As "Byrds talk to me " mentioned , I think I prefer this to Dizzy Heights already . It has good songs , but there is something about that record that leaves me a bit cold ...   The inclusion of "Divebomber" didn't help things for me. I think its the least enjoyable Neil song I've heard to date...

I agree "Divebomber" is a VERY challenging song in its final form on "DH," but if you get a chance to hear Neil play it solo on piano August 31, 2013 at Largo at the Coronet in  Los Angeles, CA (which can be found on the Jane Music site http://torrent.janemusic.org/browse.php). you might discover, like me, what a stunning song it truly is. He really messed up its organic beauty with that production approach. As a simple piano/voice song - it's astounding. 

koabac posted:
stuartjb posted:

I'm wondering how Neil has approached the post production on this album .I think its been said that he's added some overdubs , but has he tinkered with any of the stuff that was recorded live ? Are the vocals for instance as they were, or has he "fixed" anything ? I'd be interested to know folks thoughts ...

As "Byrds talk to me " mentioned , I think I prefer this to Dizzy Heights already . It has good songs , but there is something about that record that leaves me a bit cold ...   The inclusion of "Divebomber" didn't help things for me. I think its the least enjoyable Neil song I've heard to date...

I agree "Divebomber" is a VERY challenging song in its final form on "DH," but if you get a chance to hear Neil play it solo on piano August 31, 2013 at Largo at the Coronet in  Los Angeles, CA (which can be found on the Jane Music site http://torrent.janemusic.org/browse.php). you might discover, like me, what a stunning song it truly is. He really messed up its organic beauty with that production approach. As a simple piano/voice song - it's astounding. 

I completely agree with you about "Divebomber".  I hated the studio version but fell in love with the live version which is off the charts brilliant.  Here it is ... enjoy!

 

Sugar Mouse posted:
koabac posted:
stuartjb posted:

I'm wondering how Neil has approached the post production on this album .I think its been said that he's added some overdubs , but has he tinkered with any of the stuff that was recorded live ? Are the vocals for instance as they were, or has he "fixed" anything ? I'd be interested to know folks thoughts ...

As "Byrds talk to me " mentioned , I think I prefer this to Dizzy Heights already . It has good songs , but there is something about that record that leaves me a bit cold ...   The inclusion of "Divebomber" didn't help things for me. I think its the least enjoyable Neil song I've heard to date...

I agree "Divebomber" is a VERY challenging song in its final form on "DH," but if you get a chance to hear Neil play it solo on piano August 31, 2013 at Largo at the Coronet in  Los Angeles, CA (which can be found on the Jane Music site http://torrent.janemusic.org/browse.php). you might discover, like me, what a stunning song it truly is. He really messed up its organic beauty with that production approach. As a simple piano/voice song - it's astounding. 

I completely agree with you about "Divebomber".  I hated the studio version but fell in love with the live version which is off the charts brilliant.  Here it is ... enjoy!

 

That's amazing, as well. I think that's from 2015. It still presents the song in a much more appealing, understandable form, but the simple, solo piano and voice recording with the orchestra from August 2013 mentioned above is still the one that kills me the most. It's so worth hunting down. 

In fact, most of the "DH" songs that he first tried out live in 2013 just solo on piano really come to life in ways that allow them to peek out from beneath the "DH" production easily. Then again, Neil has always tried out new songs before recording them and it's gotten to the point where there's almost no "definitive" version of any of his songs - only subjective, personal favorites from among the various live, demos, studio cuts, mixes and outtakes. He's like Dylan in that way. Or Van Morrison. 

Steve Shealy posted:

Wow. I like that much better, but I'd still like to hear it sung in a lower register. Not a big fan of Neil's falsetto; he's no Barry Gibb.

That's funny.  I agree about the falsetto and I know it bothers some a lot.  I wonder if Neil is a fan of Bon Iver who is a true master of falsetto just like Barry Gibb.  Would love to hear Bon Iver cover "Divebomber".

That version is better for sure . Nothing wrong with Neil's falsetto capabilities , but the song would be far better with Neil using his normal register . Not getting why he felt the need to use the falsetto ....

Having said that however , Neil has so many songs I greatly prefer .

Today's the day:

[img]https://i.imgur.com/VJYy3he.jpg[/img]

Anyone else?

Meantime, loving the piano Dive Bomber, but rather surprised at the lack of DH love... I still think it's a great album, better than Intriguer to me without doubt, and compared with his previous solo album, MUCH better.

The fact that OOS is completely different and yet really good...is just another reason to love it.

I definitely like this album more than Dizzy Heights overall yet the song 'Dizzy Heights' I feel is quite a it better than every track on Out of Silence. So there you go.

I genuinely really really like every song except 'Chameleon Days', 'Second Nature' and 'Alone', but those songs are pretty decent too.

Still can't stand the boring cover though. Zero imagination.

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