Spoken about in hushed terms in certain circles, the Finn Brothers’ debut stands as testimony to their collective genius when they were on song. Written in a creative whirlwind at the tail of the 80s and earmarked for their album, the songs would end up, for the most part, on Crowded House’s breakthrough album Woodface when Capitol Records rejected the demos Neil Finn has sent them.
On such quirks of fate are history made. This two-disc set is a delightful reminder of what a sparkling, brooding and bloody clever record that debut album would eventually become when it finally saw daylight in 1995.
As Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien says in his sleeve-notes: “It’s a heavy record – like a New Zealand sky or in the way that some people can be when they walk into a room…” He’s right. It’s evident in the thrumming undertones of Paradise (Wherever You Are) or the startling Suffer Never.
Which is all brilliantly offset by the demos that make up disc two, the Finn brothers working their way through the sheer magic of songs like How Will You Go, Weather With You and There Goes God. Songs destined for one place but ending up at another.