ALBUM REVIEW: Neil Finn | Dizzy Heights

square-600Rating7Neil Finn is an artist who is always searching for and experimenting with new ways to satisfy his muse. He’s a pan-genre musician capable of immersing himself in pop, art-rock, acoustic balladry and groove-based experimentalism and he masters most of them. On Dizzy Heights he applies a new psychedelic and fantastical pop-art filter to his songs with mixed results.

Finn worked with producer Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips) and from the opening track his trademark dreamy swirl is all over Finn’s songs. Impressions is measured, and soulful and features Finn’s sweet falsetto that appears often across Dizzy Heights. The songs that display the largest Fridmann imprint are the ones that work the best. A song like Divebomber could even be straight off a Flaming Lips record. When the clouds clear and Finn’s song become more sonically and lyrically direct they often descend into moody and earnest electronic pop-rock workouts like Flying In The Face of Love.

The album features his wife Sharon and sons Liam (guitars) and Elroy (drums) as well as contributions from SJD and Connan Mockasin, all of them having a distinct influence on the overall sound of the album. Amid all the studio bells and whistles, clever and quirky arrangements and dizzying instrumental collisions it is still Finn’s magical use of melody that rises to the top. The songs and lyrical imagery may be too considered at times but this is still Finn pushing forward and continuing his brave exploration of music.

 Chris Familton

this review was first published in The Music



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