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2009: 15 of the Best. #6…

December 11, 2009

#6 – 7 Worlds Collide – Too Blue

From: The Sun Came Out
Released: September 29, 2009
Label: Columbia/EMI
Buy it: Here.

If there’s one thing Neil Finn is really good at being (well, besides a songwriter), it has to be a ringmaster. The original 7 Worlds Collide concerts in New Zealand in 2001 pulled together an amazing group of musicians (including Johnny Marr, Ed O’Brien, Phil Selway, Eddie Vedder, Sebastian Steinberg and Lisa Germano), resulted in one of the best live albums ever and proved to be such fun for everyone that Neil decided to invite pretty much everyone (and more) back for a Christmas holiday last year. This time the lineup was expanded to include the likes of Bic Runga, Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche, KT Tunstall, John Stirrat and more. With everyone contributing their own songs, the result was a massive double album that was recorded in two weeks and used to raise money for Oxfam charities. The album has plenty of cool moments, but in a way it blows its coolness load in the opener — Johnny Marr’s majestic “Too Blue,” which he co-wrote with Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy doesn’t figure on the recording, which is a bit of a shame, but it’s nice in that the vocals are left to a Johnny Marr and Neil Finn one-two punch, and it’s quite incredible how well their voices work together. The lyrics carry a bit of Tweedy’s bite, but the majestic musical backdrop is trademark Marr and when the man takes to vocals for himself at the 2:06 mark, I think it’s as good an argument as any for another Healers record. Sure, he’s keeping busy with the Cribs when he’s not doing Modest Mouse business, and more power to him for continually stoking new creative fires, but the guy can be a legitimate frontman in his own right. And for my money, of every track released this year that Marr was a part of, this is far and away the best.

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