So tired of this, but I’ll repeat my counter-argument for the 30th time. The entire thing features two of the original three members, and more importantly, it SOUNDS like Crowded House through and through regardless of the branding. Would anyone claim Nobody Wants To *doesn’t* sound like classic CH, with “only” Neil and Nick? This is why Neil went that direction, because to paraphrase a quote from him at the time, “everyone was thinking it, that it sounded and felt like Crowded House.” Call me crazy but I’ll go with Neil Finn’s assessment over that of his more hair-splitting fans.
Personally, I don't feel that "sounds like" and "features x number of members" are good enough reasons. "Yesterday" featured only one Beatle and didn't sound ANYTHING like a Beatles song up to that point. And yet it IS a Beatles song because it was recorded by a member of that band with the intention of being issued as one of their songs. (Compared to, say, Beautiful Night which featured twice as many Beatles but was recorded by them in their capacity as solo artists and was never intended to be issued as a Beatles song.)
The vast majority of TOE was recorded by Neil using session players (one of whom just happened to have been Nick) with the intention of being the next Neil solo album. Whether it sounded like CH or not is, to me, irrelevant.
As far as I'm concerned, for the 31st time , it's the INTENT that's key. Put another way: if Neil had issued the record as a solo project, would you have been complaining for the 30th time that it should have been a CH record because it sounded like them and had Nick on it?
(And for the record, no, I don't think Nobody Wants To sounds like ANYTHING in CH's catalogue up to that point. Name me one other mid tempo ballad in their 86-96 catalogue. That's not to say that I don't think its a fabulous song: I do. But I think it sounds just like solo Neil and nothing like CH.)