Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Rich, well-written pop from Neil Finn

Neil Finn was the front man for Split Enz and is still fronting Crowded House. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of either of those bands. Perhaps some diehard out there can leave a comment and tell me what I’ve missed that I should check out. I’m not writing them off; I’ve just never heard anything I particularly liked by either band.

I tried... and failed.

That’s why I was surprised that I enjoy Neil Finn’s solo effort, “Try Whistling This,” so much. It’s a great pop album full of sunny melodies with dark undertones, broad harmony vocals, and guitar work that is alternately intricate and driving. It was his solo debut that came out in 1998 and he’s released 4 more since then. I actually only just discovered that as I was researching today’s post, so I have ordered some of his other solo albums. I’ll let you know what I turn up, if it’s good.

For today, I just want to recommend the release I have and these four tracks in particular.

  • Try Whistling This – This is a heartfelt ballad. The melody is poppy, but takes some twists and turns to keep it interesting. The link is to a live performance.
  • She Will Have Her Way – Pop gold. This song reminds me of Matthew Sweet, though perhaps it would be more fair to say Sweet reminds me of this. Great harmony vocals belting out a fine melody. I invariably turn this song up when it comes on. This video is brilliant, by the way.
  • Souvenir – The guitar line written for this song works really well with the vocal line. The percussion is also right in the pocket. There is even a little strings bridge near the end of the song. The music is all good, but the lyrics are what grabs me, which is rare.
  • Faster Than Light – I’m glad you get the chorus in this sample clip, because I love it. It’s too bad, though, that you don’t get the oozy guitar and percussion of the verses, because they’re cool too.

I was serious about wanting to hear about better Crowded House and Split Enz. Let me know what your favorite is, if you ever liked them, and I’ll check it out.


May 6, 2010 - Posted by | Popular, Rock


  1. I am gald you are discovering Try Whistling This, in my opinion it is one of the best albums by anyone,ever.
    Indeed I am also a fan of The Enz and The Crowdies and if you have’nt already then giving Together Alone a real listen is very rewarding, the title track along with Nails In My Feet are simply bliss and if Distant Sun does’nt put the biggest smile on your face then I don’t know what to say Catherine Wheels is dark, haunting and beautiful and Fingers Of Love is one of my favourite Crowdies tracks.

    I am a great lover of Time On Earth but most of it tears me apart, it is hard for me to listen to without crying yet I keep going back, it is good for the soul. Songs such as A Sigh and People Are Like Suns, there are just no words, other than LISTEN

    Among Enz favourites, Devil You Know is right up there
    Having been a fan of Neil’s music since 1981 I could go on and on and on, but I guess you have a word limit

    Comment by Tabatha | May 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Outstanding response. I am going to go back and check all of these out. Even if I just pull a few gems off it will be a good use of my time. Thanks!

      Comment by missedmusic | May 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. Check out Crowded House’s Together Alone album. Their best CD. Nails In My Feet, Fingers of Love, Pineapple Head, Private Universe, Walking on the Spot, Distant Sun…their most brilliant stuff

    Comment by alight | May 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks. “Together Alone” will be the first one I spin.

      Comment by missedmusic | May 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Ahhhh, how could I leave out Private Universe, stunning stunning song

      Comment by Tabatha | May 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. Ask for the diehards and they shall come 🙂

    Every album by Split Enz and Crowded House is worth a listen, I reckon 🙂 If you want a full musical journey that’s full of discovery, start at the beginning and keep going I say – 1975’s ‘Mental Notes’ by Split Enz, their first album. Neil didn’t join his older brother Tim’s (who also has a distinguished solo career) band til 1977. From then til now Neil’s penned some awesome tunes for both the Enz and the Crowdies (as the bands are lovingly referred by fans).

    It’s hard to pick just a few, let’s see… Enz: ‘Give it a Whirl’, ‘Years Go By’, ‘I Walk Away’, ‘Message to my Girl’, ‘What’s the Matter With You’, ‘Take a Walk’.

    Crowdies: ‘Never Be the Same’, ‘Love This Life’, ‘Whispers and Moans’, ‘As Sure as I Am’, ‘She Goes On’, ‘Nails in my Feet’, ‘In My Command’.

    As much as I’d like to, I won’t go into the seemingly countless yet magnificent B-sides by both bands as I haven’t got all day 🙂 Neil and brother Tim have also released a couple of albums under the name ‘The Finn Brothers’, of which there are also tracks to check out as well 🙂

    Hope this helps you on your way. Welcome to the land of Finn! Happy listening 🙂

    Comment by Kim | May 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Neil Finn is not only an incredible songwriter, but also singer and musician. The songs just seem to find their way into your soul upon repeated listenings, regardless of what musical entity under which they’re written. I can’t say that about any other musician performing today.

      As for the CH canon, a good preview can be had via the “Recurring Dream” compilation album, which shows just how many good songs CH created. It shows a real depth of songs. This disc doesn’t even delve into the quality deep cuts that CH produced through the years, however, nor does it pick up after the reformation several years ago now. It included four songs from each of the four albums and added three other ones.

      I’d also very highly recommend the “7 Worlds Collide” DVD from around 2001. It picks from all aspects of NF’s career (SE, CH, FB, solo) and is a real joy to behold. Another element captured there is how well he connects to his audience as far as banter, etc. is concerned. He’s very funny and quick on his feet.

      CH will be appearing live in Europe shortly, followed by in North America, so certainly take advantage of the opportunity to catch the band if you get it. New album is out in June or July, depending upon territory.

      Comment by Romer | May 8, 2010 | Reply

      • Thanks. I have a lot to listen to, apparently. I also have the Finn Brothers CD “Everyone Is Here” and I ripped a few tracks off of that one (‘Won’t Give In,’ ‘Anything Can Happen,’ and ‘Luckiest Man Alive’). Clearly, if he’s still writing songs that good, he has an amazing talent for songwriting. Reading all of your enthusiasm for Neil Finn is making me excited to back and check out the rest of his catalog. Thanks for all the recommendations!

        Comment by missedmusic | May 8, 2010

  4. So glad you are enjoying Neil Finn’s solo stuff and I fully agree with the comments of Tabatha and Alight. There are so many tracks that Neil has written that I love, some I find I instantly like, others take a bit longer to get under the skin but I find that these one’s become favourites. It is well worth taking a bit of time to get to know these albums. I also particularly Like Time On Earth. You might like to consider visiting http://frenzforum.com/eve. You will find people ready to discuss the music of Split Enz, Crowded House, Neil Finn and other connected musicians.

    Comment by Vee | May 7, 2010 | Reply

  5. Split Enz started out as more of an art form back in the early 70’s… a definite change of direction took place in ’77 when Nigel Griggs and Neil Finn joined when, in my opinion, a more serious approach to being a working band overcame them. Try to check out Time and Tide… a truly excellent album.

    As for Crowded House… Woodface would be the most commercially and internationally known, but I agree with my fellow Frenz… Together Alone probably showcases Neil’s writing talent to it’s fullest potential…

    … until, perhaps, the release of Intreaguer this summer!

    Comment by Kimmy | May 7, 2010 | Reply

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