Compared to the straight lines and subdued surfaces of Crowded House's 2010 album Intriguer, Neil Finn's 2011 Pajama Club is a reckless party. Not quite a side project, not a full-fledged band, Pajama Club finds Finn and crew -- including his wife Sharon, Sean Donnelly, and Alana Skyring -- taking all the detours he so stubbornly avoided on Intriguer, letting himself get lost in elastic, electronic echoes and even occasionally revving up the tempo so his throwaways resemble something like a garage-pop raver. All of which reads a little wilder than it plays. This is not an album fueled by lager and speed, it’s driven by wine and perhaps a bit of pot, its textures refined and spacy, psychedelia stripped of all of its woolliness. Pajama Club may be tidily pressed, but it’s considerably looser and lighter than anything Finn has done in a long while, perhaps since the first Finn Brothers collaboration. Like that 1995 collaboration with big brother Tim, there’s a palpable sense of freedom emanating from Neil, who clearly relishes an opportunity to crack jokes and make music without worrying about polishing his craft. Ironically, this very looseness not only results in a lively listen, but the polite messiness of Pajama Club winds up as a greater testament to his songwriting skills than the last Crowded House album; as the cliché goes, his throwaways are better than many artist’s keepers.