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Try Whistling This

4.4 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Try Whistling This by Neil Finn

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Neil Finn's solo debut carries much the same style and tone of his work with Crowded House--the intimate vocal delivery, the undeniably intelligent pop approach. What Try Whistling This lacks is a couple of cuts to break up the tastefulness that washes over everything; there's no noise like "Locked Out," no full-on heartbreak like "Better Be Home Soon." That's no reason for fans of the singer/songwriter not to buy this, but it's hard to see how it'll win many new listeners over to this occasional genius's side. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 2011)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Work
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • ASIN: B000007QDC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,725 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
My first hearing of this album was singualarly unremarkable; having being told it was a fantastic album I sat down with the loaned CD and patiently heard it out. With this superficial trip through the disc I thought it was pleasant but not particualy noteworthy. However, whilst working in the observatory that evening I was continualy haunted by the fading memories of subtle key changes and almost subliminal melodies; when trying to recount them I found it impossible to recreate their delicate construct with my clumsy voice. I was hooked; at first by only one track (Truth); but one by one the other tracks revealed themselves to me; each with it's own quintisential flavour, subtly different in each case, but ultimately not unlike the other tracks, providing an album wide ambience without compromising the integrity and identity of the individual tracks.
However, despite my continual listening I would still find elements within songs that had previously gone unnoticed. The rich layering of audio textures from the production generates a depth that takes time to fathom, and is probably partially responsible for my not "getting" the album straight away; but it is this illusive depth that saves the album from the ignominious fate of so many other albums, namely becoming saturated, or overplayed. It is one of the few albums I can repeat straight after I've just listened it (depsite probable protestations from Chris (Noisy)).
As if this wasn't enought to endear the album to me the lyrics cross over into sheer poetry on occasions. I wish I could comment on all the tracks but I could churn out compendious tomes on the subject. However, well worth listening to are:
Last one standing: What every album needs, a strong defining first track.
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Format: Audio CD
Neil Finn's "Try Whistling This" is great pop magic, showing that he did not slow down after Crowded House. "Last One Standing" almost bubbles with energy. "Souvenir" has gorgeous background vocals in addition to a haunting melody. "It's a dark empty room," Neil starts as the keyboards pulsate on the wispy "King Tide" while bass and guitar build. "I'm the best that you know," Neil sings as a lover asking to be taken back on the soft title track. "She Will Have Her Way" has a beautiful melody and is a classic Finn track, undoubtedly on its way to a greatest hits package. "Conscience plays on me now, Safe until my luck runs out, Coocoos call, pendulum swings, Thought you knew everything," Neil sings as we seem to drop in on the inner thoughts of the "Sinner." "The hangman's in the noose, the prisoner is loose," the lyric goes on the unsettling "Twisty Bass." "Loose Tongue" snarls with electric guitars popping in & out like shock treatments. "Truth" is a pretty melody, "Truth is worth more than pride." "Astro" is a celestial midtempo rocker, "One day they will discover you." Neil sounds a lot like "Mind Games" era John Lennon on "Dream Date," "I wish you were here to give me advice." "Faster Than Light" is a chiming charmer. The CD concludes with "Addicted," with prominent piano on one of Finn's glorious melodies. Neil Finn is one of our master musicians, and sounds wonderful on this excellent set. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
I waited far too long to buy this album. Once I finally bought it, I jumped right to the singles, "Sinner" and "She Will Have Her Way." The latter is the most obvious pop single on the record; it's relatively straightforward and eminently hummable. (Think "Something So Strong" or "It's Only Natural" from earlier Finn efforts with Crowded House.) "Sinner" is more oblique and takes a couple of listens to grab you. The same could be said for the rest of the album, but grab you it does -- and hard.
The song that's haunting me at this moment is the sensual, cinematic "Try Whistling This," a song with the richness and heat of a hot summer's evening. I love listening to it, but at the same time I find it so intense that after it plays, I really can't listen to anything else but silence for a while. (Perhaps the major miscue of the album was following "Try Whistling This" with the relatively lightweight "She Will Have Her Way," which suffers by comparison.)
If you've been a Finn/Crowded House fan, you'll find this album to be a logical progression of Neil's talent. It's not exactly Crowded House, but it's clearly in the same family. It does take some listening to before you're hooked, but it's well worth it.
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Format: Audio CD
By the time Crowded House broke up there was no doubt that their leader, Neil Finn, was one of the most gifted and original songwriters around. Add to that a strong, unique singing voice and his consistently brilliant live performances and it's hard to see why he isn't better known. He's always been a critical darling, and his fans are ravenous, but here in the States he's known as the leader of a one-hit-wonder 80's band.
This album ofters further solid proof that Neil Finn is ridiculously underrated. While in Crowded House Finn stuck mostly to tried-and-true pop sensibilities, on "Try Whistling This" he provides a sense of adventure that was sometimes lacking with his former band. Songs like "Loose Tongue," "Addicted" and the title track make perfect, transparent use of odd phrasing and untraditional song structures. Finn also utilizes an array of vintage electronic instruments and some new beats to complement the understated pop elements of this record: the slinky string loops and trip-hop groove of "Sinner," for example, or the island-flavored beat of "Dream Date," or the droning Mellotron cellos of the paranoid and pretty "Souvenir." His lyrics are, if anything, even more introspective than in the past; "Astro" is the most conventional in its instrumentation, using mostly guitars and Hammond organ a la Crowded House, but its lyrics and production are decidedly darker. "She Will Have Her Way" is an instant classic and proves Finn still possesses a nearly unparalleled ability to produce smart pop hooks when he chooses to.
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