Well. This all has me feeling fairly disgusted. I’m not really a Liam fan, but more importantly, in one fell swoop the concept of Crowded House has become fairly meaningless.
I’ve always defended Time on Earth, because although it didn’t begin life as a CH album, that aspect seemed to develop organically and in good spirit and remembrance of Paul. Only four tracks fully featured the band, but Mark did some overdubs and it all *felt* like Crowded House to me, both the songwriting style and the musical vibe. And they did the work of casting a wide net to find a drummer who was not only excellent but complemented the band’s chemistry.
This is different. TOE arose from a time when CH technically no longer existed in any form, so I feel they had much more leeway in how the name was resurrected. But now...the new lineup was well established with two albums and tours, the anniversary show and the ARIA award. It’s an entirely different prospect to f*** with the formula at this point. And Neil is doing that in the worst way possible, in my view.
I’ve been chuckling at spurned Fleetwood Mac fans who say “It’s not FM without Lindsey Buckingham.” Well, I’m feeling something similar right now. I don’t know what this band is. It’s *kind of* Crowded House with Neil and Nick involved, but the inclusion of his sons kind of negates a lot of potential they might have as a band. It’s not a new dynamic or a well-curated audition process. Its just his sons, who are quite good musicians, but there’s zero interest or excitement there for me. Don’t get me started on Conan Mockasin...I’ve never given a **** about his music, frankly. I expect competent performances with zero of the CH magic that made the band special to me. For the first time in the 25 years I’ve followed them and Neil Finn, I’m just not able to keep my faith in him. Just an all around disappointing state of affairs. It feels like Crowded House as we knew them — even considering previous personnel shuffling — is well and truly gone, and that’s a sad thing.