7 Worlds Collide, "The Sun Came Out"
7 Worlds Collide's new double-disc album, "The Sun Came Out," is the answer to a question few had probably thought to ask: What would happen if members of Crowded House, the Smiths, Radiohead, Wilco, assorted family members and other guests spent three weeks in a recording studio? The result should have been a misbegotten mess. Instead, with Neil Finn serving as host and co-producer, "The Sun Came Out" turns out to be an inspired exercise in artistic collaboration and pop songcraft. Johnny Marr sounds rejuvenated as he takes the mic on "Too Blue," the beautiful album opener he co-wrote with Jeff Tweedy. Radiohead's Phil Selway and Finn's son Elroy make surprisingly strong solo bows. KT Tunstall shines on two standout tracks, "Black Silk Ribbon" (with Bic Runga) and "Hazel Black." And Finn serves up the breezy pop charmer "Little by Little" with his wife, Sharon. Here's hoping the entire collective reconvenes for another go-around.-Louis Hau