Stranger than Fiction, Larger Than Life: the Finn Brothers song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. This is quite a tale of two songs - they're both good, and I think I like them better than most of "Out of Silence," but the ska one was a lot of fun just by virtue of it being something a little different. I'll average them together and say it's a solid piece.

    3.5/5
     
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  2. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    I can't decide which version of Serious In Love I prefer, I played the ska version immediately followed by Neil's piano version, and it works quite nicely. It's very unconventional, but it works (for me, anyway.)

    I'll rate them both at 4/5.
     
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  3. jcr64

    jcr64 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    "Serious in Love" (Fangradio version) sounds like an attempt to shoehorn a song into the OOS format. It doesn't work. It's not a bad song, exactly, but it lacks any spark and isn't interesting enough to merit a place on the albumNot bad for a demo, but not worthy of fuller development, at least in this form. 2.5/5

    "Serious in Lov" (Infinity Sessions) is a hoot. It still isn't a great song, but it's fun to hear in this lively arrangement. 3.5/5
     
  4. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Serious In Love [Fangradio version]"

    1-0
    2-0
    3-4
    4-6
    5-0
    Average: 3.29

    "Serious In Love [Infinity Sessions version]"
    1-0
    2-0
    3-1
    4-8
    5-1
    Average: 3.86
     
  5. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    In 2016 New Zealand musician Jesse Sheehan released an album called Drinking With the Birds, produced by Neil Finn.. Jesse Sheehan's band The Stray Dogs came to national attention via the televised Rockquest competition which features high school bands competing. He also achieved 2nd place the same year in New Zealand's Play It Strange songwriting competition.

    He went solo and released a couple of EPs in 2013 and in 2014 toured as Neil's lead guitarist for the Dizzy Heights tour.

    Drinking With the Birds was his debut album, released in 2016 digitally and on vinyl. No CD. :realmad::realmad::realmad::realmad::realmad::realmad:. At least not listed on discogs.

    Besides having Neil as producer, Drinking With The Birds also featured four songs co-written by Neil.
     
  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "Girl, If You Are Who You Say You Are", written by Jesse Sheehan and Neil Finn; produced by Neil Finn.
     
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  7. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Girl If You Are Who You Say You Are

    This song is new to me. Maybe there’s a good song buried underneath here, but I have no inclination to listen to this a second tine, as neither the production nor the singer’s voice appeal to me in any way.

    2/5
     
  8. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Girl If You Are Who You Say You Are

    It's a nice song, but I find the melody a bit aimless. It's interestingly arranged, and performed - not just a cookie cutter song. The song develops well through the arrangement and the building backing vocals (overdubbed?) work well.

    Jesse sings it well.

    Overall there isn't quite enough there to make me want to check out his other music. But, it's close.

    3/5
     
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  9. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    Girl, If You Are Who You Say You Are

    I can hear some stylistic production elements of Neil here, but this is music that is not aimed at my demographic (old guys).

    As an actor, Sheehan should continue to develop his guitar skills.

    1.5/5
     
  10. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Girl, If You Are Who You Say You Are - I like this song enough to download it. That probably puts me in the minority here. I like the arrangement of the song, and it's an interesting little lyrical journey Jesse takes us on. I do think it's a song that builds - when I first started listening to it, I wasn't so sure about the vocal style but by the end of the song I was reaching for iTunes to download it. It's got a bit of an earworm of a chorus, and I find that keyboard-y style pretty cool. The overall style of it faintly reminds me of some Harper Finn song - might be just the overall feel though of the song.

    3.8/5
     
  11. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I thought that too, today, although I downloaded all of these songs before I'd ever heard of Harper. It's just a slightly similar style of pop music, I guess, though they have different voices. This guy is a bit more affected, perhaps.

    I think this is a better than average song.

    3.8/5
     
  12. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallentuna, Sweden
    This is the first time I've listened to Jesse Sheehan and this song. I think it has a quite unique feel to it, very atmospheric and cinematic with slow-building drama. Lance mentioned that Jesse Sheehan was the lead guitarist on the Dizzy Heights tour in 2014 and, based on this song, I can well understand the mutual appeal of them working together. They seem to share a willingness to experiment within the pop/rock parameters and I can imagine a version of this song as sung by Neil fitting in well on Dizzy Heights. Such as it is, it makes me curious to hear more Jesse Sheehan tracks and to hear the full album.
    3,7/5
     
  13. Anne_G

    Anne_G Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    This made me laugh out loud! :laugh:

    I hear some Neil in the lines about the wind and the leaves but that’s it for me. Not like the song “You I Know” that sounds so unmistakably Neil.

    The lyrics here stand out because the music is so blah. I mean, sure, put all the pressure for the relationship to succeed on her being who she says she is. Sounds fair. And why is it “taking a chance” to meet your girlfriend halfway?

    I’m sure there is a backstory here but I have learned that you don’t go by what people say they are but by who they show you they are. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.:laugh:
     
  14. jcr64

    jcr64 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    "Girl, If You Are Who You Say You Are" is certainly a competent song, but I can't see myself returning to it often, or maybe ever. From a Neil perspective, the song is mildly distressing, as it continues the airless production style that Neil has flirted with at least since Finn, a style that I don't really enjoy. I think there's a reason that so much of Neil's solo work sounds better in concert than it does on recordings, and I wonder if the same might be true here.

    3/5
     
  15. drewrclv9

    drewrclv9 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Yeah, sorry, this is a pretty insufferable song. Completely colorless with an awkwardly minimalist sound, it ends up having really nothing to hold my interest. The chorus is decent, but that's really the only positive thing I have for this one.

    Fun fact: I listened to this song to get "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel out of my head after seeing 'Uptown Cafe' on Google Maps. I realize now that I probably should have stuck with that song, as annoying as it may be.

    1.5/5
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  16. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.K.
    I was unaware of this album, so thanks to Lance for introducing me to songs that I might never have heard (there's been a few that I would have preferred to never have heard, of course ;)). Nobody could ever accuse Neil of standing still or resting on his laurels...

    I don't really have an issue with the minimalist nature of this song. That's obviously the style that they were going for and I actually like the laid back vibe.

    I wish that Jesse Sheehan had a slightly better voice and he is a little too loud in the mix for my liking.

    3/5.
     
  17. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Yes, I think it's just a similar style of pop music. It's kind of almost hypnotic like. There's a time and place for that I guess...normally I would say it isn't my thing, but for whatever reason Jesse Sheehan hit the spot this morning. (Although I do prefer Harper Finn overall - he has a better voice, and perhaps a slightly more accessible musical style).

    I try to make a point of not watching the videos posted if it's on a first listen. Partly because I would hate to judge a song on it's visuals...apparently that was a good move this morning!
     
  18. Pretty much this. Lyrically there's something there but someone else needs to be performing this song for it to suit my style.

    3/5, but a very generous 3/5
     
  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Girl, If You Are Who You Say You Are"

    1-0
    2-3
    3-4
    4-3
    5-0
    Average: 2.83
     
  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today's song is "The Way It Was Before", written by Neil Finn and Jesse Sheehan; produced by Neil Finn. Performed by Jesse Sheehan.


    It was a dream, flowers in her hair
    The look of the stars, When I first saw her there
    Ooh, how I love the way She didn't seem to care
    You know I love the way she wore her hair

    Then there was sun, Morning moved her smile
    She said that she didn't mind, Laying with me a while
    Ooh, how we danced a flame, Through the rain and through the storm
    Oh, how she took my pain and let it fall

    But the stars look different now
    They don't move me anymore
    And oh, how I miss the way it was before
    And oh, how I miss the way it was before

    Back in the real world I can't seem to shake these tears
    I still remember the stars, still remember all those years
    Oh, How I feel her rain, it is buried in my skin
    And it seems that I've lost the man that I might have been

    And the stars look different now
    They don't move me anymore
    And oh, how I miss the way it was before
    And oh, how I miss the way it was before

    It was a dream, morning moved her smile
    I inhabit these...? I remember how they felt
    Ooh, how we danced the pain through the rain and through the storm
    I caused her pain and let her fall
     
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  21. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    A good pop song: some cliched "pop"lyrics, and they don't sound like Neil's work at all, so I suppose that he wrote the melody which is very nice. This again seems more in the style of Harper Finn (who hadn't recorded anything at this point) but the vocals again on this are not bad, but somehow affected in this modern pop song way that I dislike.

    At least Harper doesn't seem to have picked up many the annoying vocal mannerisms of the Gen Z set. Anyway, I also quite like this keyboard-based song and the strings are nice.

    3.5/5 because the melody is too nice to give it anything lower.
     
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  22. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    The Way It Was Before

    This is a very catchy song. The lyrics are a simple lost love song, but I don't think the world has yet had enough of silly love songs.

    The arrangement is interesting, and raises the song well above the banal. As does the melody.

    I did listen to this a number of times over before rating it. And, my opinion of it improved considerably. There definitely is something there. Not quite as immediate as Harper Finn's work, but still a nice song well realised.

    3.3/5
     
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  23. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    The Way It Was Before

    I like this song more than yesterday’s. There is a nice melody, and there’s a nice, almost Latin feel to the beat.

    I still don’t like the underlying electronic keyboard that anchors the song, but the overlying embellishments quickly make it easy to ignore. Sadly, I will never choose to listen to Jesse’s music because I don’t like his voice. Sorry, Jesse. ;)

    3/5
     
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  24. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    The Way It Was Before - this is a catchy pop song. Is that piano melody Neil's work? Not that it matters, it really elevates this song above ordinary. I actually like the keyboards in this song and that kind of shuffle in the background. This is actually a better song than yesterday - or at least more immediate. Duly downloaded on my phone.

    The vocal style doesn't seem to bother me as much as others. Also I'm probably saved by not really listening to the lyrics.
    3.8/5 (I may have overrated yesterday's song...sorry)
     
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  25. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallentuna, Sweden
    I'm getting a real Beach Boys-vibe from "The Way It Was Before" and find the song a real grower. I like how the piano and the (synthesized?) strings build a kind of dream-like mood, where the music has a sense of underlying darkness lurking just beyond the idyllic summer feeling. I've listened to a few of the other tracks on Jesse Sheehan's album and it's definitely one I will listen to many more times. His voice is fine I think, he gives the songs a unique character.
    This song gets 4/5 from me.
     
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