To be honest, as much as Crowded House means to me, the bottom line is whether or not I like the music. If each and every album Neil has been involved in had been crammed full of the kind of great songwriting he produced during the original CH era, I don't think we'd be having this discussion.
I'm not saying his writing has got worse over the years, just that he's veered away from the style that first drew me to him. I still enjoy enough of his work to stay interested but his more recent work has come nowhere near achieving the deep seated adoration I felt for those early CH albums.
I accept that he doesn't want to just keep churning out CH-by-numbers material, and that he wants to stretch, but it just hasn't produced songs as enjoyable as that early material. Perhaps he set the bar too high.
But if he were still turning out melodies of the quality of Distant Sun or Nails in My Feet I don't think we'd care less who he was working with.