Rhythm & Views

The Finn Brothers

Crowded House headmaster Neil Finn and his brother, Tim, have been collaborating musically since they were young whippersnappers back in New Zealand; in fact, it was in Tim's band, Split Enz, where Neil got his first taste of musical success.

Both brothers have been doing the solo thing for years now, but Everyone Is Here is the Finn Brothers' second record. The album has its fill of Finn-esque glittering moments, and it's the kind of album that grows on you; both Finns are masters of scenic and melodic pop ballads that swell in strings and vocal harmonies that seep in slowly. Ex-Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain plays drums on the record, as well as Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and Jon Brion, Mitchell Froom and Tony Visconti all lend their production expertise.

Everyone Is Here is an apt title; the musicians the Finns surround themselves with always support the overall Finn sound without imprinting too much of their own style. "Anything Can Happen" jumps with that Crowded House-era jangly guitar sound, and "Homesick" slides in on an upbeat rock riff, but lyrically, Everyone Is Here is mourning. The record is dedicated to the brothers' late mother, and the death images (lights going out, doors closing, riverbanks) are everywhere. "Edible Flowers," which was performed on 7 Worlds Collide, Neil's live album featuring guest musicians like Eddie Vedder and Lisa Germano, is here with a string arrangement, and could be one of the more haunting songs written about death: "Everybody wants the same thing, everybody wants the same thing," sings Neil, "to see another birthday."

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