Review Thread - The Conversation

quote:
Originally posted by Camus:
My biggest problem is that I feel Eddie is totally wasted on the album (meaning that it could have been any session keyboard player. There were very few Eddie touches). I thought the writing was going to be three ways between Finn Rayner and Golding, but that may only have been from when it was going to be Finn Judd and Golding and was disappointed to discover it's only written by Tim. The songs themselves, while I acknowledge that they are well written, don't grab me at all. I've found this with nearly all Finn releases lately though. I'm still willing to give it a chance though, which is why I bought The Coversation (and I'm not sorry I did).

I just feel the album took the easy path. It could have been so much more considering the musicians involved, and its this loss of opportunity that saddens me. I have listened to the album several times, but have come to the conclusion it doesn't do it for me. I'm glad everyone else is really getting into it though. Maybe my expectations were too high?


I kinda think so. I didn't hear about the idea when it was going to involve Phil, just when I saw Tim play last February and he mentioned he was going to be doing this acoustic disc. So, I didn't have huge expectations. I know in the past I've sometimes been disappointed because I expected B to be A and it wasn't.

I'm kind of reminded of the "Bring on the Night" (?) documentary film about Sting's first solo album involving these different musicians, including Brandon Marsalis, who made a comment about "I'm not sure if this is really a band". Which it wasn't really.

So... I do kind of feel like you had an expectation that the album would be a real collaboration, with equal input from all 3, but I personally never expected that. Tim wrote the songs and it was his project... that said I wonder about where the musical writing credits went (haven't checked the liner notes).

Re Eddie: I actually have to wonder what the album would have been like if Eddie had been given more room. Maybe he's changed, but I think he has a tendency for stuff that is... complicated. Or "fiddly" (see: Spellbound). I'm not sure if that would have worked for the songs.

quote:

I just wanted to hear something different from Tim, to hear him stretch himself like he did with Say It Is So and I don't feel he did with this album.


Fair enough.
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Camfield:


Re Eddie: I actually have to wonder what the album would have been like if Eddie had been given more room. Maybe he's changed, but I think he has a tendency for stuff that is... complicated. Or "fiddly" (see: Spellbound). I'm not sure if that would have worked for the songs.


I agree - I think his playing is more understated than typical for him on this album, but it provides some really gorgeous rich layers to the overall sound, which works very nicely to my ears (though I am fond of his fiddly moments, also.) Cool
I don't understand why this album can not be accepted as a body of work with great heart.I personally don't care who did what.. played this way or that .. or who is who and who is not.The album is the album,and it shines.I don't see the point in irrevocably analyzing the s**t out of it.

Thank you yemanja - and you have a very astute eye hk :-)
I think you have to expect people to analyse things on a site dedicated to the Finns. Having said that I agree this album has a lot of heart.

I can understand Camus disappointment if he thought it was going to be collaborative in the writing. I don;t know how this would have worked. Eddie did write a bit with Tim during the Dysrythmia era but after that he only really provided intrumentals. I have not recollection to Miles writing anything other than the opeining motif to Stranger than Fiction.

For mine Tim went through a renaissance with SIIS and FTG and then sort of stalled on IK. The Conversation is a return to trying new formats and collaborations for his songs. His contribution has been a particularly strong and consistent set of materiel. Eddie, Miles, Ethan and Brett have interpreted this wonderfully, make this album rich sonically and musically.

I think at time Tims (who describes himself as a pop classicist re: The Beatles, The Kinks etc)has a tendency to run through songs quickly. Sometimes this serves his purpose, sometimes not, but on this album the players above tend to linger with the music and bring out the true beauty of the melody and harmonics. Tim would do well to dwell on this because it really adds to the songs.

Not everyone will like this album but it is not in my opinion marking time - its actually quite a bit move ahead in the evolution of the artist that is Tim Finn
myself I think this is a work of art. it's certainly for me tim's srongest consisant set of songs. I just here in the Uk the BBC or another TV channel or something would do a special a documentry of tim, BBC do loads on artists who really don't deserve as much praise. I mean split enz so underrated here in the UK and neglected as well. I'd love melvin bragg and the south bank show to drop a painter or a theatrical artist in favour of a programme on tim. how many artists of his generation are still making brilliant records. in fact records that get better and better. me for one am sick of hearing about the regeneration of artists like neil diamond, paul weller ETC, when tim is overlooked

grrrrrrrrrrrr !!!! lol !!!

there got that outta my system !!! Smiler
review from INPRESS, issue 1048, Wednesday 3rd December 2008

TIM FINN
THE CONVERSATION
EMI


With the illustrious days of wacky stage make-up and absurd haircuts behind them, the Finn Brothers have since become well-respected statesmen in today's music scene. Their immaculate harmonies and clean guitar sounds have long helped sooth Austro-New Zealand relations; a shared appreciation of "the Finn sound" providing a common ground that transcends accent jokes and past rugby scores.

Oldest brother Tim Finn's latest album should prove no different. Atmospheric, bittersweet and characteristically melodic, Finn's eighth solo record is a tribute to his enduring talent. Aptly named, the album features an equally impressive performance from Finn's backing band whose seamless cohesion and instrumental calls and responses gives the impression of a perfect musical conversation. The band's lineup notably includes Miles Golding, an original member of Split Enz who departed the band prior to their rise to international fame to pursue a career in classical music. The most interesting collaboration, however, is from Andrew Pitts who plays an intriguingly beautiful bowed saw solo in The Saw And The Tree, the album's standout track.

While both Finn brothers have uniformly shunned the tag of "New Zealand's Lennon & McCartney", one couldn't be blamed in thinking The Conversation contains some very Lennoneque balladry and vocals. In particular, the gentle naivety in Eddie Rayner's piano on Invisible and Imaginary Kingdom is highly reminiscent of Lennon's Jealous Guy.

Where many successful artists sink into self-indulgence and narcissism in their later work, Tim Finn remains solid. The Conversation is a really great acoustic record.

-Adrian Craddock
I have resisted commenting until I had a few weeks of listening to this for a few weeks...I appreciate that it's an each to their own situation but I love it...I have for many years thought that Tim shins best in an acoustic/semi acoustic setting. To my mind many promising songs/albums have been short changed by dodgy or over blown production..this hits the nail right on the head..by my reckong there are 8 stand out songs...an achivement on any ablbum.....to me the best effort since Bfeore and After notwithstanding the 80's prodcution values...Say it is So showed promise but was let down by his (then) dodgy voice...all in all i'm lovin it....
Hi Stuff and Nonsense

I am interested in what you think are the 8 standout songs. If I had to name 8 I would say:

rear view mirror
straw to gold
more fool me
imaginary kingdom
slow mystery
saw and the tree
invisible
great return

ooh and probably snowbound (love the bridge)

I think Forever Tuesday is a good pop song and I really like the rythmn change of Only A Dream. Out of this World is growing on me. Still not sure about Fall from Grace but it isn't a shocker or anything.
Hi Titus

In answer to your question your list is very close 5/8....my list is

Out of this world
The saw & the tree
Slow Mystery
Rear view mirror
Only a dream
Imaginary Kingdom
Forever Thursday
More Fool Me (a classic)

The great return could have been good but it seems out of his range...having siad that it sounded great live at the Espy!
#1 Invisible
#2 The Saw & The Tree
#3 Out of this World
#4 Rearview Mirror
#5 Straw to Gold
#6 False Hope
#7 More Fool Me
#8 Great Return

I like the chorus of "Snowbound" but the verses are a bit annoying. "Forever Thursday" is fun because it has a beat but the lyrics are a bit too literal and direct for my taste. "Fall From Grace" and "Imaginary Kingdom" are the only two tracks that don't really do anything for me. They just kind of lay flat for some reason.
Is it my ears, or does Neil Finn do an uncredited backing vocal on Imaginary Kingdom: where Tim & Neil sing it's been so long. If I was a betting man, I would guess the next single would be a pick from either The Saw And The Tree or Rear View Mirror...
I think by any standards there are some exceptional songs on this album - Saw and the Tree, Imaginary Kingdom and Out of This World are just some of the gems. I love acoustic music - and I think this album sits up there with Damien Rice, Jack Johnson et al. Tim's songwriting, performance and production since Say It Is So have been consistently very good indeed. He seems to have gotten even better in his mature years - which is not something one can say about every artist!
quote:
Originally posted by silvertongue:
I love acoustic music - and I think this album sits up there with Damien Rice, Jack Johnson et al. Tim's songwriting, performance and production since Say It Is So have been consistently very good indeed.

Tim showed all his acoustic/piano prowess on the bonus DVD on his 2006 album. Do a search on www.cdwow.com.au if you want to source a copy. Neil is yet to do anything remotely similar to what Tim did there (in terms of capturing it on a DVD commercially non-fan club available).

I think Neil is still in his Neil Young-electric-experimental-grunge phase: all the more power to him. I loved Neil's solo electric guitar middle eights in Private Universe, ever since he did it solo from 1998 onwards. Oh well, that's another topic:
quote:
Originally posted by silvertongue:
He seems to have gotten even better in his mature years - which is not something one can say about every artist!


Well that's a subjective opinion. I've loved all of Tim's solo albums because I am a fan. So if my beloved artists like Coldplay, James Blunt, David Gray, Travis, The Verve, Oasis, Blur, Keane, Snow Patrol all age & grey: I will eternally be loyal & buy their CDs, given time & an affordable price. As for expensive music concerts, no thanks...
quote:
Originally posted by BART:
- really liking the album.

Can anyone answer a question - is it a musical saw which features on 'The Saw and the Tree' (solo around 2 mins in), was a similar instrument used on the Finn Bros 'Sunset Swim'...and how do you play it?

Ta


It is indeed a musical saw. They're played with a bow, like a violin or cello. You can see it in the "Making of The Conversation" video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivZUadMneNQ

I know, I know, I’m a decade late to the party ...but I’ve just discovered this album, and I think it’s fantastic.  I love several of the songs, and there’s not one that I dislike.  Of course, I have to be in the right mood for this album’s quiet intimacy.  It goes really well when played back-to-back with Neil’s “Out Of Silence”.

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