STACK Magazine editor Jonathan Alley says: “One has to hand it to Neil Finn. It would be all too easy to keep re-making The Temple of Low Men or Woodface year in, year out, resting on some (admittedly gorgeous) sonic laurels. Instead, in recent years he’s impressed greatly in his solo shows (Finn, guitar, songs, no band) and gently investigated some genuinely engaging adventures in electronics and machine-based groove with his Pajama Club project.
Solo album three, Dizzy Heights is neither Crowded House with new toys, nor Pajama Club 2.0; it’s an unbridled adventure in melody, elegance and subtle but genuinely inventive atmospheres; fans will say ‘told you so’ while more casual observers will be surprised by its modernity. Dave Fridmann – former member of Mercury Rev, and producer of Flaming Lips, Tame Impala and numerous Australian acts of late – inevitably adds delightful, deft touches. Check the kooky, gentle analogue dissonance at the beginning of Divebomber or the edgy interference of White Lies and Alibis just for starters.
But these are touches, not performances. Nothing in Finn-world works without a melody sung the way he was born to sing it. The strings on the title track buttress Finn’s vocals to perfection, but it’s melody of the refrain that will have you singing all day. Similarly, the gorgeous Lights of New York is a superb showcase of Finn’s vocal, backed only by minimal keys. And, if The Beatles comparison to Finn has now been thrashed beyond death, the middle section of CD exclusive track Animal vs Human sounds like Lennon in about 1971, fighting with Phil Spector, an orchestra, a drum machine and a reverb unit. Like, that’s a bad thing? Do hear it.”
Uncut magazine says: “Finn’s third solo album is a lush, multi-layered affair, making full use of its producer.”
The Guardian says: “Dizzy Heights stands alongside Finn’s many career highlights, including his beloved Split Enz and Crowded House hits.”
The New Zealand Herald says: “With the lovely late-night harmonium-powered hymnal Lights of New York to out on, Dizzy Heights floats back to ground level quite beautifully. It’s a fine end to a strangely lovely left-turn kind of album that feels like it will be still throwing up surprises for months to come.”