Neil Finn and Paul Kelly, two titans of music down under (and beyond) who also happen to be longtime friends, got together for a tour of Australia in 2013 that culminated at the Sydney Opera House. This recording captures that final date. It gives you two hours of music that draws on both men’s lengthy solo and group careers, including Split Enz and Crowded House fare from the Finn side as well as songs from his collaborations with his brother, and Coloured Girls/Messengers material from Kelly. From the arrangements and tweaks the pair came up with, to their singing — harmonizing, trading off verses (on “Deeper Water,” “Four Seasons in One Day,” and others), changing things up (Kelly singing Finn’s Crowded House hit “Into Temptation,” Finn returning the favor on Kelly’s stately “You Can Put Your Shoes Under My Bed”) — these renditions make this whole more than the sum of its estimable parts. As Finn puts it in the liner notes, “Something magic happens when you become a proper band.”
ESSENTIAL “Deeper Water”Stuart Munro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.