Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Second Nature (Neil Finn) - 3:49 rating: **** stars

I've been a Neil Finn fan since I was in college (Split Enz and Crowded House) and over the ensuing years have renewed by connection with his catalog from time to time.  Anyhow, I stumbled across this song on YouTube and simply couldn't shake it out of my head.  Finn may simply be one of the most overlooked talents out there and 'Second Nature' is simply a stunning tune.  It's basically just 3:49 of hooks.  Add the fact it's recorded live and the result's simply breathtaking.

And the promotional video is mesmerizing.  Watching these folks record the tune is simply a joyous experience.  They seem to be having one of those special occasions that come along once in a blue moon.  Kudos to the backing singers - they are simply amazing.

Here's the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q7Jr0w5MLk 


What's Broken - James Raymond - 3:48    rating: **** stars

So here's what I wrote about this song on the BadCatRecords website when I first heard it:

Geez, how is it radio ignored this tune ?   Written by Crosby's son James Raymond  and featuring Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler on lead guitar, 'What's Broken' trashed the notion Crosby couldn't sing a commercial tune if his life depended on it.   Stunningly pretty and with support from Marcus Eaton, the layered harmonies were immaculate.  

Like me, if you thought Crosby's career was over when he pissed off long time partner Graham Nash (along with the rest of the CSN&Y family), this tune will quickly make it clear those sentiments were just plain wrong.  In fact, based on this tune and his three recent albums, Crosby has unexpectedly become the most productive member of the CSN&Y commune.  Sure, Neil Young has churned out far more albums over the last couple of years, but they can't match the quality and caliber of Crosby's recent releases.  And if you thought Crosby needed those guys to capture that unique sound ...  wrong.  This performance would easily give CSN&Y a run for their creative monies ...  Add in some sweet and thought provoking lyrics and this was one of those songs I just can't get out of my head.

You can hear the album version at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6fkt6raCDQ

The sound and video quality aren't great, but recorded at New York's The City Winery, YouTube has a January, 2014 performance of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXi_GU5TqBs