Pajama Club Pajama Club

Pajama Club Pajama Club
These days, Neil Finn saves all his most interesting songs for his side-projects. Anyone picking up a Crowded House album knows what to expect, but Seven Worlds Collide was more of an unknown, although there's no disguising his knack for a good tune. Pajama Club, however, is a little stranger. Originally just Finn and wife Sharon playing around with unfamiliar instruments at home, allegedly in their pyjamas, it has turned into an actual four-piece and their eponymous debut is one of the best records Finn has been involved with for some time. It covers a great deal of ground, with a wealth of styles and influences, including people Finn has been hanging around with, such as members of Wilco and Johnny Marr, who shows up to play guitar on two songs. It isn't until fifth track "Golden Child" that anything vaguely reminiscent of Crowded House appears and even then it's masked beneath some swirling atmospherics. Elsewhere, there are grungy guitars, squelchy keyboards, driving beats and some moments of wonderful boy-girl vocal interplay, all of which would have felt out of place if this weren't a new project for him. Pajama Club is a surprisingly satisfying album from someone who probably shouldn't be making anything this fresh and interesting at this point in his career. (Lester)