7 Worlds Collide—Live at the St. James

Featuring Neil Finn, formerly of Crowded House and Split Enz, backed by an all-star band—brother Tim Finn, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and

Featuring Neil Finn, formerly of Crowded House and Split Enz, backed by an all-star band—brother Tim Finn, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway, Lisa Germano, and Sebastian Steinberg, formerly of Soul Coughing—7 Worlds Collide is automatically more interesting than most live sets. Instead of a Finn "greatest hits live" set, we hear Finn, Germano, Marr, and Vedder taking turns on vocals and even delivering performances of their own songs (Pearl Jam's "Parting Ways," Germano's "Paper Doll," Marr's "Down on the Corner") during this collection of tracks culled from a five-night stand at Auckland, New Zealand's St. James' Theatre. Finn and Vedder deliver a rollicking take on Split Enz's "Take a Walk." Vedder alone delivers an equally exhilarating version of Split Enz's "I See Red." Two real treats are Finn's dead-on Morrissey vocals on the Smiths' "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" and his disc-opening new song "Anytime," a lovely reminder of our own mortality. For good measure, Crowded House faves "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Weather With You" are tacked onto the end of the disc. Though 7 Worlds Collide is indeed a great listen, it probably won't prove all that durable, as it fails to capture the timeless quality that live albums must have to bear repeat listens. Nevertheless, hats off to Finn for coming up with a great idea—and to his friends for coming through. All royalties from the project will go to charity.—WO