2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A compelling album,
By A Customer
This review is from: One Nil (Audio CD)
Fans who used to sing along to 'Weather With You' and 'Don't Dream It's Over', and who used to enjoy the unique chemistry and humour of Crowded House live, will not necessarily have fallen in love with Neil's solo work. 'One Nil' is a far more sophisticated and challenging album than, say, 'Woodface', which was simple and sweet pop genius.
This album carries on where 'Try Whistling This' left off - it's darker, moodier, more in the vein of the collaboration with his brother on the 1995 'Finn' album. It's also a very classy piece of work; experimental or not, each track stands up to scrutiny and yields new emotional content with each play. On first listen, the album doesn't hit you with harmonic, sing-along gems, but that's the point, as there's far more staying power inherent here, more subtleties to return to, than in the days of Crowded House. The fact that the first three tracks merge into each other is no coincidence, as it sets the tone for the album: it's a gliding trip through a serene sonic universe. Each song is individually crafted, but in a sense it doesn't do full justice to focus on the tunes in isolation, because the whole album is just so damned good. Having said that, initial stand-out tracks for me were 'Hole In The Ice', which mixes anger with melancholy, with shouted verses fusing into a superb synth chorus; 'Secret God', which is wonderfully relaxed and lilting, the kind of track that has you drifting away until it concludes in an other-worldly, sci-fi-esque ending; and 'Anytime', which could hardly be described as lyrically up-beat ('I could go at any time/ there's nothing safe about this life'), but which has a certain jangly hook that has you singing along in no time.
All in all, Neil once again easily evades the naffdom of fourty-something music to produce an album of musical integrity in a world of pop clichés.