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I like to put things in lists. I think many people do. Witness the dozens of conversations within this very forum that focus on lists: top 5 desert island albums; top 5 Neil Finn songs; top 5 "under-appreciated"; top 5 middle eights, etc. etc.

Probably it's human nature to want to compare and contrast. This album is the "true" masterpiece because it {fill in blank}. That moment of the song is transcendent because of {insert pithy observation}. It's hard to deny it, the satisfaction of seeing things in their tidy rank order.

And maybe it's also quite natural, and somehow advantageous in the scheme of things, to want to identify yourself with a certain "camp", even (especially?) within a special niche of fandom such as this forum. Heated debates ensue, as we apply our personal filters to our experience of the music: "Is it lo-fi?"; "Does it give me goosebumps?"; "Does it harken back to {insert name of lauded record}?"; "Is it catchy enough?"; "Is it too catchy?"; "Does it remind me of {insert name of critically acclaimed off-the-radar artist/band}?", "Does it conjure up {describe life-changing experience}?" etc. etc.

Most likely, these filters are applied instantaneously and unconsciously to form a first impression of a song/project. No doubt these first impressions are strong, and, sometimes, lasting. For the compulsive list maker it's tempting to want to slot the new stuff into some kind of list right away.

But then there is the incomparable experience, in music, of allowing something to grow on you. My absolute favourite Neil Finn project (sorry, the list maker rears it's head) is "Try Whistling This", but I admit I was scratching my head through most of it on the first few listens. It's hard to remember that time now, it seems so alien because TWT is so essential to me now. What I do remember is the ensuing ride though - the steady and accelerating discovery of all those hidden jewels and truths.

That process, that ride, is what I look forward to with my favourite artists' new releases, and most especially with Neil's. Getting on is the best part - that moment I realize he's got me. At that moment, lists are irrelevant. There's no sense in trying to fit what I'm experiencing into an ordered package. I'm able to put down the filter, and it's just the music.

I was beginning to worry that it wasn't going to happen for me with the Pajama Club stuff. My first impression - that it was a bit of an indulgence, a quirky groovy Neil Finn lite - was proving to be quite stubborn.

But this morning, I watched this youtube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSW6u1SPTu8
There he was (the rascal), with Sharon at his side, singing about the "right way to breathe" and beckoning me to climb on board. I did and I'm officially along for the ride. I'm not thinking about lists, it's a horizontal thing.

I've enjoyed reading about others' experiences with PJC, and look forward to more. Smiler

...the horse ate my trousers...

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quote:
Originally posted by Ross Breithaupt:
"Does it give me goosebumps?"

This, to me, is the only important thing.

Whether it takes 10 minutes or 10 years, who cares? THIS is what defines great music to me. And music that has that effect on me may be very different from music that has that effect on anyone else.

Who cares how long it takes?

I didn't even know who Neil Finn was until August 2002....many, many years after he started making music.

Smiler
Ross your post has just sold one more copy of PJC right here. I may have to go and buy it now I've listened to that youtube link you posted of Golden Child. I listened to the songs on SoundCloud and wasn't overly impressed. At least not enough to prompt me to buy the album (would be a first since I've become a NF fan). I downloaded FAFTAF and bought TMWYW from Itunes. They were OK but not really my thing. But after hearing that live Golden Child version I may just have to fork out and buy the whole thing...

From what I've experienced of Neil, it only takes one song on the album to grab you. Next you start listening to the other songs on the album, and slowly but surely, one by one, they will eat away and eventually each and every song will have that moment where you "get" it. As long as that may take. As Brownie said, who cares how long it takes. My current favourite song is Walking on the Spot. Didn't think much of the song until the last couple of weeks. Now I can't believe I've overlooked it this whole time. I first got into NF and CH when someone gave me a copy of Together Alone. Believe it or not I was hooked on Skin Feeling in the beginning. Then Distant Sun became a quick favourite. Followed by Private Universe, Locked Out, etc... and it wasn't until I heard the Fingers of Love live version on the bonus RD disc that I began to appreciate that song as I do now. That version of Fingers of Love is, in my opinion, the best CH live version bar none from any of Neil's songs. Come to think of it, I don't think I've loved a whole entire NF album from the get go. It's always been one or two songs, then the rest show their true colours at different stages of listening.
My problem with PJC is maybe that I'm a bit over it already.

I've listened, I've enjoyed a lot of it, some tracks are addictive but I'm not sure how much more I want over all. So other musical distractions are getting to me.

This doesn't tend to happen to me with Finn music.

TWT was a really big listen, and I found Intriguer and other past CH/Finn records lasted a longer time, with these I really was "along for the ride" they truly matured with age.

PJC has hit been a bit too instantly, like a caffeine rush. I feel I'll be giving it a bit of a break for a while, see if I miss it after a week or two.


KB
I agree with that sentiment.

Pajama Club is a good album, and it's a refreshingly new direction for Neil that highlights his talents as a songwriter and artist. It's got some good grooves and some nice tunes and it's been nice to see Sharon's vocals (which I really enjoy on Intriguer) brought to the fore.

However, for me, I don't think it will hold the appeal over time or longevity that other albums have. Together Alone, Try Whistling This and Intriguer are the albums I most frequently revisit, and while I'm still enjoying the PJC album, I don't think it will be added to the list.

In a positive way, the PJC album has got me looking forward to Neil getting back to writing music with Crowded House so that I can enjoy what (in my opinion) he does best. It may be that it wouldn't have been as appreciated had he gone straight there from Intriguer.
quote:
Originally posted by Marcus C:
I don't think it will hold the appeal over time or longevity that other albums have. Together Alone, Try Whistling This and Intriguer are the albums I most frequently revisit, and while I'm still enjoying the PJC album, I don't think it will be added to the list.


I know what you mean. But like I said before, I'm just entering in and happy to be not trying to place it somewhere (i.e., list). Enjoying it.
"These Are Conditions" just revealed itself to me. Obvious tip of the hat to Talking Heads, and some very nice sounds going on. I love Neil's "about to lose it" vocals. Makes me giggle. Razzer
quote:
Originally posted by Ross Breithaupt:
quote:
Originally posted by Marcus C:
I don't think it will hold the appeal over time or longevity that other albums have. Together Alone, Try Whistling This and Intriguer are the albums I most frequently revisit, and while I'm still enjoying the PJC album, I don't think it will be added to the list.


I know what you mean. But like I said before, I'm just entering in and happy to be not trying to place it somewhere (i.e., list). Enjoying it.
"These Are Conditions" just revealed itself to me. Obvious tip of the hat to Talking Heads, and some very nice sounds going on. I love Neil's "about to lose it" vocals. Makes me giggle. Razzer


Though I am usually in the Ross Breithaupt camp regarding all things Finn, I must say that when it comes to PJC, I share your sentiments, Marcus.

Even the most loyal of fans shouldn't have to tryso hard, or for so long, to appreciate something. I am glad Neil and Sharon found their way to doing this, and I get that whole concept. That part is great. The output, though, didn't get to me on the first listen, or the second. Maybe a few more listens would get me to lukewarm. I'm not willing to be lukewarm about Neil Finn, and nothing from PJC would make my "best of" playlist.

So, will Ross and I break up over this? Probably not - but there's going to be a whole lot of door slamming! Wink

RR

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