Spin - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Finn features his wife Sharon on co-lead vocals for the album's centerpiece and highlight, 'Isolation': the eerie, unguarded results suggest Wings stripped of silliness."
Entertainment Weekly (p.115) - "'Twice if You're Lucky' is a hummable peach, while 'Isolation' builds from spare lament to riff-fueled freak-out." -- Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Bouncy, driven pop and Finn's trademark ballads stack up well with anything from their `80s and `90s output."
Uncut (magazine) (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "INTRIGUER features more immaculate, grown-up pop caressed by Neil Finn's careworn croon."
Audio Mixers: Jim Scott; Kevin Dean .
Recording information: Auckland, New Zealand (04/08/2010); Roundhead Studios, Auckland (04/08/2010); The Auckland Townhall (04/08/2010); Auckland, New Zealand (04/10/2010); Roundhead Studios, Auckland (04/10/2010); The Auckland Townhall (04/10/2010); Auckland, New Zealand (05/2009-08/2009); Roundhead Studios, Auckland (05/2009-08/2009); The Auckland Townhall (05/2009-08/2009).
Photographers: Liam Finn; Nick Seymour; Cybele Malinowski.
With the heavy lifting of the Crowded House reunion out of the way, Neil Finn is able to settle into comfortable craft on Intriguer, the band's sixth album. Intriguer isn't as self-consciously weighty as Time on Earth -- Finn is not tackling mortality in the wake of the death of his longtime friend and bandmate Paul Hester -- but it's also not as hazy as Finn's pair of solo LPs. In tone and timbre, it's closest to the second Finn Brothers album, the ruminative Everyone Is Here, but it lacks the reflective undertow of that 2004 album; it may be subdued, but it's not reveling in its melancholy, it's riding a gentle wave, swaying from song to song. Sometimes the tempo gets slightly heated -- "Inside Out" works a nicely grinding guitar riff, "Saturday Sun" pulsates to an electronic rhythm -- but the album doesn't command attention so much as it teases it. This light touch suits Finn's songs; he's favoring subtle craftsmanship over immediate hooks, so it only fits that the mood of Intriguer is soothing, something that pays off great dividends upon close listens. It may not be flashy but it's sturdy and expertly honed, reflecting Finn's craftsmanship on a song-by-song basis but holding together better as an album than any Finn project in recent memory. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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