On Dizzy Heights, Neil Finn tries his hardest to make anything but a Neil Finn solo album. He’s employed famed producer Dave Fridmann and the album features so many other players that calling it a solo album is laughable. And yet, it is just another collection of 12 Neil Finn songs, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The album is covered in a sunny psychedelic sheen (courtesy of Fridmann), which seems to compensate for its anxious lyrical content, and the echoey, reverberated vocal treatment and constant unplaceable guitar effects make it all seem very paranoid. This contrast works best on the album’s two highlights. ‘Divebomber’ has Finn singing exclusively in falsetto, while sampled dive bomber sounds and a marching drum beat rise with a string section. Better yet, ‘White Lies And Alibis’ evokes Crowded House’s Together Alone, and combines the same luscious strings with a constant siren in a dazzling arrangement.
Elsewhere, though, there’s a push/pull with the production. On the one hand, everything sounds fantastic and of a piece. On the other hand, it’s so incredibly dense that it takes quite a number of listens before the songs start to reveal themselves.
But once they do, you’ll be reminded why Finn is held in such lofty esteem.
Dizzy Heights is out now on Lester/Inertia.