With the long history of fraternal feuding in rock, from the Everly Brothers and the Kinks' Davies duo to the Gallagher boys of Oasis, it's nice to see a pair of musical siblings who can't seem to get enough of each other. Ever since 1977, when Tim Finn invited his little brother Neil to join his modestly successful new wave outfit, New Zealand's Split Enz, the two have set separate courses in pop music that keep intersecting: Tim went solo in '84 and Neil took over Split Enz; two years later Neil broke up the band and formed Crowded House; Tim joined Neil's band in '91. This year, with interest in Crowded House long since waned, their self-titled debut release finds the Finns "going duo."
Finn Brothers is a modest, understated album that successfully combines the conventional beauty we've come to expect from Neil's melodic work with Crowded House and the eccentric charm typical of Tim's edgy post-art rock Split Enz. So where the warbling synth of "Eyes of the World" is all new wave Tim, the piano balladry of "Where Is My Soul" reeks of popster Neil. "Only Talking Sense," meanwhile, succeeds in combining Tim's angular minimalism with Neil's plaintive croon. But just when we begin to think we've heard it all before, the Finn brothers give us the bossa nova bounce of "Mood Swinging Man" and the tango sway of "Paradise"--evidence, perhaps, the lounge revival has reached down under. --Roni Sarig