When Neil Finn closed the doors on Crowded House, all signs seemed to point to a more experimental direction for future solo releases; even the title of his first solo album, Try Whistling This, implies a reaction against his reputation for well-crafted, highly melodic songs. However, from the opening track, the light and breezy "Last One Standing," Finn puts all fears to rest. Try Whistling This does dabble in experimentation -- most notably in the feedback and distorted vocals of the paranoid "Twisty Bass" and the mild trip-hop groove of "Sinner" -- but throughout, he shows restraint, tastefully incorporating more exotic effects while staying true to his high melodic standard and meticulous songcraft. Finn seems clearly freed from the restraints of being in a band, allowing him to try a lot of different ideas, from the sweeping "Souvenir" to the instant pop classic of "She Will Have Her Way," to more delicate atmospheric pieces like the title track, ultimately creating his most complex and diverse set to date. And though many of the songs take time to reveal their treasures, it's worth the effort. Try Whistling This features some of Finn's best work yet, and in a nearly flawless catalog like his, that's quite impressive.
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AllMusic Review by Chris Woodstra