For a time -- long before Hobbits, before Flight of the Conchords, and before Lorde -- New Zealand's biggest pop culture export was Neil Finn, the singer-songwriter and frontman of Split Enz and Crowded House. In the time Crowded House was active (roughly 1985 to 1996), the Australian pop band found success in the U.S. with its self-titled debut, which reached No. 12 on the charts in 1987, and later scored international top ten hits like "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong." And while the band parted ways for a time, Finn delved into a fine solo career, and put together the 7 Worlds Collide project -- before reforming Crowded House in 2006.
Lately however, Finn has been going solo again, releasing his third album, Dizzy Heights, in February. But for Finn, this latest record is both a collaboration (Dave Fridmann produced), and truly a family affair: his wife Sharon plays bass, and his sons Liam and Elroy play guitar and drums. And the result is a collection of dreamy psychedelic pop and soulful, R&B-inflected jams. For an artist as decorated as Neil Finn, it's another welcome high-water mark in his discography.