Ever since the demise of New Zealand popsmiths Crowded House back in the late 90s, brothers Neil and Tim Finn have been content to plough their furrow far from pop's bustling farmstead. Everyone Is Here
, the pair's second full-lengther, lacks the full production and grand, Beatlesesque melodic ambitions that saw songs like "Weather With You" and "Fall At Your Feet" become transatlantic radio hits - but it replaces such scope with a smudged, intimate acoustic style that suits Neil and Tim's songwriting talents almost as neatly. The album's finest moments are mostly placed towards the top end: "Luckiest Man Alive" is the sort of conscious rock gospel that Stereophonics' Kelly Jones would kill to be able to write, while "Anything Can Happen" a billowing, U2-style epic of scintillating guitar and cavernous drum-crashes is seemingly placed to prove that not all is trad chez
Finn. As an album, it probably won't spawn any MTV-hogging video classics certainly, that was never the intention but Finn fans in search of a mellow listen should find Everyone Is Here
hits all the right buttons. --Louis Pattison
Probably best if I declare a vested interest at the outset... I've been a diehard fan of pretty much everything Tim and Neil Finn have been involved in since just before Crowded House's 1991 Woodface album turned them into Europe's most popular New Zealanders.
The brothers' first major songwriting collaboration on Woodface yielded an album full of gorgeous hooks and harmonies, that got better with every listen. And it had the added bonus of introducing me to the future Mrs. Mendoza (about 5 rows back at the Town and Country Club on November 9th 1991, fact fans).
From then on Mrs. M and I eagerly awaited each new Finn-related release, and lapped them all up ... It's only now that I've spent several weeks listening to Neil and Tim's first proper collaboration for 8 years that I realise that all those other albums since Woodface have left me at least a little bit disappointed.
Everyone is Here is not only the album many fans have wanted the Finns to make for the last 13 years ... it's also the best classic pop album you'll hear all year. I don't suppose that McFly or Busted will be losing any sleep about the Finns' singles chart prospects, but almost any of these songs could have been the lead single.
"Nothing Wrong with You" and "Edible Flowers" both start out downbeat and introspective and then seamlessly segue into almost euphoric choruses. "Homesick" and "Part of Me, Part Of You" are natural heirs to Woodface's "It's Only Natural."
Lyrically this album is more about family than anything they've written before; "Disembodied Voices" and "A Life Between Us" examine the brothers' own relationship as it is now and was 40 years ago.
Those of us who were lucky enough to be at the fan-club gig in Regents Park earlier this month saw that live as well as on record, these songs can stand proud next to 30 years of Finn classics. If only all crafted pop was this intelligent, this catchy, and just this good. --Miles Mendoza
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