Tim Finn – Imaginary Kingdom
Tim Finn has never really gotten the respect that his younger brother Neil has. Even though Tim was a founding member of Split Enz, it was Neil’s band Crowded House that really put the Finn name on the map. Most critics and fans have always considered Neil’s solo work superior to Tim’s. That was then and this is now. Tim’s new solo release, Imaginary Kingdom changes all that. Put aside any preconceived bias against Tim and listen to this one with fresh ears because he’s delivered a masterpiece and his personal best. Easily as good as any of Neil’s solo efforts and right up there with Crowded House. The opening track “Couldn’t Be Done,” is a brilliant power-pop gem…quirky and hooky…the stuff I wish both of the Finns would do more of. The rest of the album is full of amazing songwriting featuring sweeping themes and beautiful melodies. I don’t know what inspired Tim, but these are some of the best songs of his career. The album also features Tim’s track from the Narnia movie, “Winter Light.” Unfortunately it hasn't been released yet in the U.S. and is only available as an import right now.
Frank Zappa – Trance-Fusion
This is one of 3 albums Frank had finished for release before his death. Why it sat in the vault since then is anybody’s guess. But at least the Zappa Family Trust got this one right. Mastered by sound guru Bob Ludwig, this album sounds great. It’s another album of Franks jazz-rock-fusion guitar solos…most of which were recorded live on the 1988 tour. This continues the theme from Frank’s previous releases Shut Up and Play Your Guitar and Guitar with one exception…this one is much better. It’s a single disc release instead of 2 or 3, but it’s more cohesive and flows perfectly. This is Frank at his best and the sound quality and packaging is top notch.