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Reply to "Is it Crowded House?"

@mattl posted:
But for the most part, this just doesn't sound like CH to me.  There are exceptions, but mostly, the things I think of when I think of "Crowded House" (the band, not the first album) are not here.

I'm fine with experimentation.  I love hearing different influences in the music and the arrangements. But first give me songs that have unusual chord progressions, timeless melodies, and great lyrics.  Those are the foundations on which CH is built.

I was very young when the original albums came out, but I have to imagine some people felt the same way back then. Woodface is a completely different tone and production style from the previous two. Together Alone is even more different still. I can easily imagine people saying about Together Alone, "I like this but it sounds nothing like Crowded House."

Personally, I hear Crowded House in Dreamers are Waiting. Not as strongly in every track but it's there. To the Island, Whatever You Want, Start of Something, Sweet Tooth are all very compact and hook-forward in a way I associate with Crowded House. Show Me the Way and Playing With Fire sound like Neil solo tracks from Try Whistling This & Dizzy Heights, respectively. I like Goodnight Everyone, but it's basically a solo Liam song. And the remaining ones feel like an evolution of Crowded House, faintly familiar but treading new territory.

I've also allowed myself the possibility that it doesn't have to actually sound like my conception of Crowded House. As you said, if these people on paper want to call themselves Crowded House, that is totally fair. And they have no obligation to sound any particular way. That said it sounds more like them than I anticipated, and I like the ways in which it doesn't, so I'm pretty satisfied so far.

As for the unusual chord changes, I actually associate that way more with Neil's solo stuff, Try Whistling This and One All especially. I feel like a lot of the classic Crowded House stuff is pretty diatonic and standard, like earlier Beatles, but stood out for the personality of the band. (There are a few exceptions like Pineapple Head, which is pretty weird harmonically)

Last edited by slowpogo
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