Here’s a clip of songwriting colossus Neil Finn with a live take on his 2001 track ‘Hole in the Ice’ as taken from his 7 Worlds Collide live album and accompanying DVD. The studio version is featured on the One Nil album, released in North America in 2002 under the title of One All.
To demonstrate his admiration among musicians, the concert off of which this track comes features some prominent guests in Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse), Lisa Germano, Phil Selway and Ed O’Brien of Radiohead, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, and brother Tim Finn among others.
This is one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite artists. On paper this song shouldn’t really work. The first bit is a shouty attack, as close to a right-out-of-the-box sonic bludgeoning as Finn has ever gotten (with maybe his earlier song with Crowded House “Kill Eye” gives it a run for its money). The second is the soaring “And I won’t travel…” section, with those angelic “ah ah” backing vocals. The two seem to be from different songs entirely. Yet, Finn puts them together, and they seem to complement each other beautifully. How does he do it?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Neil Finn is one of the best pop songwriters alive today, as good as Paul McCartney ever was, and adding in some of the darkness and attractive impenetrability of Leonard Cohen too to the McCartneyesque confection while he’s at it.
For more music, check out the Neil Finn MySpace page.
And of course, check in to the Crowded House site to see what the newly reformed band are up to next.