Review by: Colm O'Hare
The family that plays together...
The first thing to say about this debut from the Crowded House man and his eldest son is that it's on the more experimental/ambient side of things; fans of the House's more accessible melodies might have to dig deep at times to find familiar touchstones.
That said, lead track 'Back To Life' boasts a mellow piano foundation and light funk textures, with an added exotic touch courtesy of some Greek "taverna" style bouzouki. It kicks off with 'Prelude - Island Of Peace', an overture of sorts, consisting of a swirl of electronic washes. They're soon joined by multi-tracked voices, with some familiar tones just about recognisable: Finn Junior's voice is a tad rougher than Dad's.
'Meet Me In The Air' is perfectly titled: a floaty, dreamlike melody sounding like Brian Wilson meets The Association in Beck's home studio. The Wilco-like 'Anger Plays A Part' finds them on more familiar territory, with acoustic guitars and gentle, melodic balladry. It's very much a family affair with Sharon Finn (Neil's wife/ Liam's Ma) joining in on bass at times, while kid brother Elroy plays drums on seven tracks. They've managed to rope in Mick Fleetwood for three cuts but then Neil is soon to join the West Coast legends on tour, following Lindsey Buckingham's departure: 'Any Other Way' recalls the Mac's deft rhythmic touch.
'Where's My Room' blends a Stone Roses-style bassline with Kate Bush atmospherics - including dramatic staccato strings - while father and son's voices blend sumptuously on 'Listen'. It may not be the expected treasure-trove of ready-made singles, but Lightsleeper is an impressive record.