To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.
2004 – #8. The Finn Brothers – Everyone Is Here
I am a big fan of everything Tim and/or Neil Finn. I’ve loved their work together on Woodface, Split Enz and the one other Finn Brothers album, titled Finn. But Finn was a low key stop gap release, whereas Everyone Is Here was a big deal, a potential hit record.
It had really been years since either Finn brother had a big chart hit, or even tried. Tim had made some great but decidedly quirky, challenging albums in the 00s, and Neil surely could not expect the electro-tinged Rest Of the Day Off to be a hit.
And so it was with much fanfare (in fan circles) that the Finn brothers were writing together, and were working with old Crowded House producer Mitchell Froom and Bowie producer Tony Visconti (also in there at some places was my hero Jon Brion).
It was their most commercial venture in years. The album was so great, and in such a commercial way, I really don’t understand why this didn’t sell a bazillion copies. This should have been the album that people who didn’t buy albums went out and bought.
Won’t Give In was the first single, and it was as graceful and magical as anything Neil Finn has ever put his name to. As was the album itself. Luckiest Man Alive, with it’s hallelujah chorus (and about a genuine new love in his life), was Tim Finn’s best song since the Say It Is So album.
But it was a true collaboration. An unused bit of verse by Tim, dating back to Split Enz days, was finally finished when Neil added his fantastic chorus to Edible Flowers. Even a true stalwart fan like me has trouble trying to work out who wrote the touching Disembodied Voices, a song about the conversations in the dark that the two had as children.
There is a reason that the Finn Brothers work, and it’s because they flatten out eachothers eccentricities, and allows them to focus on their might songwriting skills. Tim powers down his frenetic art school energies. Neil Finn leaves his melancholy in check. And what we are left with is great adult pop such as Nothing Wrong With You.
But why the brothers work so great apart is also on here, on the last track. Essentailly a solo Neil Finn performance, Gentle Hum is strange, startling and ultimately lovely piano piece.
There was a great tour to support this album, when anything was up for grabs – Split Enz, Crowded House, solo hits and more. And when Paul Hester died, they did a show at the Enmore Theatre that was emotional, but also shambolic and uncharacteristically terrible – they had been shaken. But months later, they did a two night stand at the Sydney Opera House where they came back even stronger.
This is a great record, and I hope it’s not the last. Even if it’s ten years in between each one, I hope these two guys get together every so often and gives us some more songs, and do that great back catalogue tour again.