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5.0 out of 5 stars
One Nil to the Kiwi-dude, 6 Jan 2003
With One Nil, Finn appears to have struck gold in his attempts to remould his great talent for classic melody with more exotic aural scapes than his previous unit ever dared create. Finn incorporates ambient electronica into many of the songs for a more fertile atmosphere. Treated drums, programmed loops, controlled guitar feedback, tremolo synthesiser and eerie mellotron, none of them ill fitting. Despite this, the backbone of the songs remains Finn, his guitar and the melody.
The album has a more consistent sound than his first solo album (1998's critically acclaimed 'Try Whistling This'), well demonstrated in Finn's clever merging of the three opening tracks of the album including the poppy 'Taking the Rest of the Day Off' and the edgy 'Hole in the Ice'. Sheryl Crow adds sensitive harmonies to two outstanding tracks: 'Turn & Run' and the wrenching 'Driving Me Mad'. Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, mainstays of Prince's Revolution, also join Finn to play and co-write a few songs on the album including the lilting, dream-like 'Secret God'. 'Anytime' sees Neil pondering death fairly cheerfully in an outstanding track. Finn's lyrics on this album are as meticulous as ever. There is plenty of doubt and darkness, but love offers comfort, as does humour. The album has all you might expect from the man who penned impeccable hits like: 'Don't Dream It's Over', 'Weather With You' and 'Fall at your Feet'.
Despite shunning the bright lights to bring up his family in New Zealand, Finn has earned considerable international success, respect from his peers (famous fans including Noel Gallagher, Elvis Costello, Pearl Jam and Radiohead), praise from his critics, and a devoted fan base that hangs on his every release. He says: "I haven't discovered fully what the Neil Finn sound is, but I'm enjoying the exploration". You're not the only one Neil...