The first-ever Tim Finn compilation Anthology: North South East West bears the subtitle “A Journey Through the Years of Split Enz, Crowded House, The Finn Brothers, and Solo” and it does indeed touch upon every phase of his career in its generous 34 tracks spilled over two discs. "Touching upon" isn’t quite the same thing as exploring, and this does lop off the earliest chapters of Enz, takes a roundabout through the Crowded House years substituting pleasant re-recordings for the original versions, and misses several mid-‘80s singles entirely. It’s also not a linear journey: it generally groups phases together, but it leaps from year to year, which would be more disconcerting if Finn didn’t spend so much time cutting new versions of old songs (a whopping five classics are revisited), weaving these new versions and three new tunes into the overall fabric of the compilation. All this lends The Anthology a bit of a relaxed, ruminative feel, painting Finn as a songwriter troubadour, and while this approach is not entirely accurate -- it winds up downplaying the progressive pop of the ‘70s and the new wave leanings of the ‘80s -- it’s not without its charms, as it does make a case that Finn has been consistently delivering fine songs for over 30 years.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2