Tim Finn

Tuesday, January 29

How do Tim Finn’s songs compare to those of his brother Neil, his on-and-off colleague for 30 years through Split Enz, Crowded House, and duo projects? Tim’s music is, um . . . well, there are three modes Neil’s never worked in but Tim has, at least in his Enz days: vaudevillian camp (“My Mistake”), verge-of-tears theatrical emotionalism (“I Hope I Never”), and brittle Eurodisco (“I Don’t Wanna Dance”). See where I’m going with this? It’s hard to think of many other straight artists who’ve as unabashedly or comfortably borrowed (as I read it) a gay sensibility (filmmaker Guy Maddin is one, maybe). Tim’s most recent album, Imaginary Kingdom, though, mostly sets all that aside—except for the emotionalism, as in the nostalgic “Astounding Moon” or the piano-driven, string-cushioned “Winter Light,” because that’s one thing his voice does really well. He often writes songs for himself at the top of his range, and that trembling, vulnerable vocal strain is practically a Tim trademark. Like Neil’s recent Crowded House offering Time on Earth, Imaginary Kingdom’s tone is mostly elegiac, with only a couple of up-tempo numbers; the most fun is “Couldn’t Be Done,” with its loping, effortless, Calypso-style catchiness. With Miranda Lee Richards. GAVIN BORCHERT

Listen to a sample of Tim Finn's "Couldn't Be Done Demo."

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Tue., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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