The musical bloodlines of New Zealander brothers Neil and Tim Finn are as pure as the infectious pop they’ve produced in their previous bands Split Enz and Crowded House. The Finns once surfed new-wave charts with airy alternative hits such as “I Got You” (Split Enz) and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (Crowded House). Three years after the release of their 1991 Crowded House collaboration, Woodface, Neil and his elder sibling spent six weeks in Polynesia, where they began writing Finn Brothers’ 11 songs. The relaxed tracks sound as if they were performed on an Auckland back porch. And the Finns’ low-fi recording technique creates an intimacy that suits introspective songs like “Only Talking Sense” and “Eyes of the World.”
On “Last Day of June,” a lament about a lost paradise, Neil sounds as if he’s channeling John Lennon. And “Mood Swinging Man” is a touching tough-love tribute to the Finn brothers’ father.
Missing here are the high-gloss production values that helped give the Finns’ Crowded House and Split Enz albums their brilliance. But by opting for passion, the brothers have achieved a lazy elegance that reminds us pop doesn’t have to be polished to shine. (Discovery)