Neil and Liam Finn – Lightsleeper (2018 LP)

Lightsleeper, the first co-credited collaboration from father and son team Neil and Liam Finn admirably ignores expectations that may surround such a project, revealing itself to be a meditative and somewhat eccentric collection of songs.

The Finn’s familiar gift of melody and turn of phrase are present throughout as the duo share lead vocal and songwriting duties, resulting in, for the most part, a consistently low-key vibe filled in equal measures with a delicate sense of melancholy and joy.

Lightsleeper’s strengths, however, are also its weaknesses, as the consistency of mood, the brevity of its 11 tracks, and the distinct impression that the artists created it without a great deal of concern about external expectations, makes it feel like there is not a lot at stake here. The Finns have rarely sounded as relaxed or with as little to prove, and while this results in some very pleasant moments of quiet on the album’s strongest cuts — the Liam-led ‘Anger Plays a Part’ and Neil’s ‘We Know What it Means’ — ultimately it’s a collection of bright sparks that fail to leave much of a mark.

Written for Beat Magazine.

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