Neil Finn

Sessions at West 54th

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Neil Finn's performance for the PBS series Sessions at West 54th springs to wonderful digital life via Sony/Epic's DVD release. Finn is introduced by the ever-enigmatic David Byrne and goes on to perform every song except "Dream Date" from his then-new, superb solo debut, Try Whistling This. For good measure, he throws in three excellent, crowd-pleasing songs from his previous days with bands Crowded House and Split Enz: "Fall At Your Feet," "Don't Dream It's Over," and "I Got You." While the legendary performers who would later join Finn on 7 Worlds Collide aren't present, Finn throws every last ounce of passion into the session. Switching back and forth between ballads and rock flare-ups, Finn's crystal clear vocals and acoustic and electric guitars paint him as a perfect example of a first-rate singer/songwriter. It's a true treat hearing Finn's earlier output given new life intermixed with his solo material. It's also a marvel that every song from Try Whistling This comes across as a match for his classic material; it gives one a new appreciation for the album. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound places each note into its own clean space. Image quality is also superb, providing warm flesh tones and doing great justice to the stylish set's blue hues and moody lighting. Extra big and bold subtitles are perfect for singing along. This is an essential DVD for fans of any stage of Finn's storied career.

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