Skip to main content

@Jaffaman posted:

I remember each occasion I played a new Crowded House studio album for the first time, from 1986 to 2020.

For me it was the lead singles in 1988-1993. I was stunned after first listen to "Better Be Home Soon", perplexed after "Chocolate Cake" and a tiny bit disappointed with "Distant Sun". All bona fide classics now, but BBHS was and still is something special. Good to see all three played at the Auckland show that was available to watch on stream last night.

Same thing happening to me - "Sweet Tooth" looping through my dreams - and that after only three listens.

Glad to see I’m not alone.
For me it’s been parts of Bad Times Good, Too Good For This World, Goodnight Everyone, and Deeper Down. The Same thing had already happened with Whatever You Want and To The Island after a few listens.
I really love this album. More so than the sum of its parts.

After seeing the live performance yesterday, I really love this lineup, probably a lot more than any other version of CH since 1993-1994 when Paul left.

Last edited by BRANDO BRANDT

Yes, I see this as definitely a stronger lineup than the one with Mark/Matt. There is more energy and character that was missing since the loss of Paul. And the soundscape created by Froom has added something missing all these years. I guess I see it as with U2: they create these soundscapes like on Unforgettable Fire that resonate with you and you find new tidbits to latch onto each time. Which is why Together Alone and this album will remain valid for years to come. And to me why this album is creeping up in the top albums but the band.

@renzo posted:

Yes, I see this as definitely a stronger lineup than the one with Mark/Matt. There is more energy and character that was missing since the loss of Paul. And the soundscape created by Froom has added something missing all these years. I guess I see it as with U2: they create these soundscapes like on Unforgettable Fire that resonate with you and you find new tidbits to latch onto each time. Which is why Together Alone and this album will remain valid for years to come. And to me why this album is creeping up in the top albums but the band.

Sorry, I totally disagree. I see less energy and less character… a bland album. Side 1 is ok. But especially side 2 is so boring. So many boring verses and choruses and lalala…I don’t understand why so much people love this. Far away of CH level. But, everyone has its own meaning, which is ok! I am disappointed of the new lineup. More Finns in the Lineup doen‘t mean that there is more CH in it.

It is taking me a very long time to warm up to this album.

My first impression was generally positive - that it was a pleasant listen.  I listened to it for a week straight and my opinion did not change, meaning that no songs at all were standing out to me (sadly).

I put it away for a couple of days, then listened again today, and one song started to stand out to me: Start of Something.  At the moment, I wouldn’t say this song is knocking me out the way the best Finn songs do, but at least it’s a start, where I was starting to worry this album would stay forever in the “pleasant” range, which is not would I would expect for a Finn album.  (Although that is already better than what I think of Intriguer, Dizzy Heights, and Out of Silence.)

I’m not trying to be harsh, or a downer.  I’m just trying to recapture that Finn mojo that, aside from Pajama Club and Lightsleeper, has largely been absent for me for the last decade.

@Jaffaman posted:

I remember each occasion I played a new Crowded House studio album for the first time, from 1986 to 2020. Which room I was in, the equipment I used and my reaction to the music. Together Alone is the only one for which I can recall the weather: suitably drizzly on a late afternoon, with the NZ reserve outside my window.

That seems fitting. I only have memories of the releases of the ‘07-present albums, but for Time on Earth I was in a storage facility for a university library where I worked at the time, and Nobody Wants To does still bring to mind that smell of dusty old books. Appropriate for that record, I think.

It’s taken me a while to get to this. I was fortunate enough to attend the album listening session back in late March where the band played along to some of the album in Roundhead. I wanted to abide by the rules of not publicly discussing until the album release nor did I want to provide any spoilers as well, given the album was still some way off.

Hearing it with the band playing along for the first time was a unique experience. The songs that really stood out for me then were Sweet Tooth (where Liam made the most of the guitar solo), Show Me The Way (where the harmonies live really invoked The Beach Boys Pet Sounds/Smile) and Start of Something (which instantly grabbed me).

Since listening to the album on heavy rotation for the past week, they remain my favourite songs on the album, along with Goodnight Everyone (which wasn’t played at the listening session). Bad Times Good and Deeper Down haven’t captured me the way they have others though.

I am enjoying this album as a whole and the dynamics of the new line up. I can hear Lennon/McCartney and Brian Wilson influences coming through. Each listen reveals something new to me. It resonates with me in a way that Intriguer failed to.

Time will tell if I end up preferring it over Time on Earth (which I think is under-rated). To me, it feels like Crowded House is reinventing itself in a good way, experimenting as a band, developing new sounds and continuing their musical evolution. While it may not quite be a Together Alone masterpiece, it bodes well for the future and I hope we see another album within the next year or two..,

"Start of Something" is the first time in so, so long I actually love a N. Finn composition. When he wails that "I know it!" towards the end it's like the passion missing for so long for me is back. Just a hint, but I feel hope again for what his future endeavours may bring. There is something in this song that signals all is not lost, in terms of hearing that magic that changed my life 30 something years ago.

Some wrap-up thoughts for "first impressions." Having spent a few weeks with the album, I'm only liking it more. I think I've said it in some other threads but I'll declare again, Dreamers are Waiting is Neil's best project since Time on Earth. I love Time on Earth so it's no small praise to say Dreamers is in the same ballpark for me, albeit for different reasons. As @Watney Sideburns said, Time on Earth feels more like a collection of songs but is very resonant for its connection to Paul. Whereas Dreamers feels like a cohesive band album from start to finish.

Tier 1: Bad Times Good, Sweet Tooth, Too Good for This World, Start of Something

Tier 2: To the Island, Whatever You Want, Show Me the Way, Goodnight Everyone, Deeper Down

Tier 3: Playing With Fire, Real Life Woman

To the Island feels like a modern updating of classic Crowded House. I can easily imagine them doing a version with Paul in 1992. The "every night, every day" part of Whatever You Want also feels very much like an old school Crowded House song. Start of Something doesn't really sound like Crowded House as we're used to, but the simple-yet-potently-direct songwriting style is absolutely in the same spirit. Sweet Tooth has such strong hooks, it feels related to Crowded House but it almost feels more like a Wilco track.

Too Good for This World certainly bears the influence of Tim but the chorus is one of the best things on the album (love how it superimposes a 6/4 feel here and there) and lyrically it's one of the sturdiest songs. It establishes a sense of place and feeling and urgency, and deftly uses imagery of flight and the sky to symbolic ends. It has a sense of humor too...Neil sings "There must be some way to escape from the follies of man" and at the end of that line there's a snarky little guitar bend, as if to mockingly say "yeah, right!" This and Start of Something are probably my overall favorites.

Neil's voice sounds great throughout, a little bit worn here and there but certainly remarkably strong and fresh at his age.

Bad Times Good, Sweet Tooth, Show Me the Way, Goodnight Everyone, Deeper Down feel like Crowded House taking some confident but incremental strides toward something new. I love the combination of classic and forward-looking tones on the album.

I absolutely love the new sound worlds...Fender guitar and spring reverb and retro Western soundtrack vibes, plunky Southwestern atmospheres a la Calexico, etc.

Nick has a bigger role than I initially gave him credit. I actually didn't realize til I sat down with nice headphones that he is playing the opening riff on Bad Times Good (I think he is anyway?) very high up the neck on the bass. There are spots that feel like missed opportunities for Nick but he has a lot of great moments here. Elroy has a great feel as a drummer, but I hope to hear him be a little less reserved in the future. Remember Paul Hester's long, sparky drum fill on Tall Trees, leading into the bridge? That's the sort of energy I'd love to hear from Elroy down the line.

The only track I actively dislike is Playing With Fire and I've already said a lot about that. I don't at all consider it a "dud" of a song, it just bugs me for reasons of personal taste. Real Life Woman is fine, but just feels a bit filler. And starting the chorus with "Talkin' bout a" feels kind of lame and almost unintentionally funny or parodic.

So yeah, while I had some fairly strong reservations about adding his sons to the band, it turned out to be a good thing! It's a really solid and interesting album with a handful of real gems, and that's all I dared to hope for. And I wouldn't be surprised if the next album, which I'm really excited about, is on the level of their very best.

@Patrick posted:

Sorry, I totally disagree. I see less energy and less character… a bland album. Side 1 is ok. But especially side 2 is so boring. So many boring verses and choruses and lalala…I don’t understand why so much people love this. Far away of CH level. But, everyone has its own meaning, which is ok! I am disappointed of the new lineup. More Finns in the Lineup doen‘t mean that there is more CH in it.

It’s totally normal that people have different tastes. Lots of people love chocolate but you will always fine someone who doesn’t! Same with music. I love the album and am thrilled at the prospect of seeing what else they may do in the future.

@slowpogo posted:

Some wrap-up thoughts for "first impressions." Having spent a few weeks with the album, I'm only liking it more. I think I've said it in some other threads but I'll declare again, Dreamers are Waiting is Neil's best project since Time on Earth. I love Time on Earth so it's no small praise to say Dreamers is in the same ballpark for me, albeit for different reasons. As @Watney Sideburns said, Time on Earth feels more like a collection of songs but is very resonant for its connection to Paul. Whereas Dreamers feels like a cohesive band album from start to finish.

Tier 1: Bad Times Good, Sweet Tooth, Too Good for This World, Start of Something

Tier 2: To the Island, Whatever You Want, Show Me the Way, Goodnight Everyone, Deeper Down

Tier 3: Playing With Fire, Real Life Woman

To the Island feels like a modern updating of classic Crowded House. I can easily imagine them doing a version with Paul in 1992. The "every night, every day" part of Whatever You Want also feels very much like an old school Crowded House song. Start of Something doesn't really sound like Crowded House as we're used to, but the simple-yet-potently-direct songwriting style is absolutely in the same spirit. Sweet Tooth has such strong hooks, it feels related to Crowded House but it almost feels more like a Wilco track.

Too Good for This World certainly bears the influence of Tim but the chorus is one of the best things on the album (love how it superimposes a 6/4 feel here and there) and lyrically it's one of the sturdiest songs. It establishes a sense of place and feeling and urgency, and deftly uses imagery of flight and the sky to symbolic ends. It has a sense of humor too...Neil sings "There must be some way to escape from the follies of man" and at the end of that line there's a snarky little guitar bend, as if to mockingly say "yeah, right!" This and Start of Something are probably my overall favorites.

Neil's voice sounds great throughout, a little bit worn here and there but certainly remarkably strong and fresh at his age.

Bad Times Good, Sweet Tooth, Show Me the Way, Goodnight Everyone, Deeper Down feel like Crowded House taking some confident but incremental strides toward something new. I love the combination of classic and forward-looking tones on the album.

I absolutely love the new sound worlds...Fender guitar and spring reverb and retro Western soundtrack vibes, plunky Southwestern atmospheres a la Calexico, etc.

Nick has a bigger role than I initially gave him credit. I actually didn't realize til I sat down with nice headphones that he is playing the opening riff on Bad Times Good (I think he is anyway?) very high up the neck on the bass. There are spots that feel like missed opportunities for Nick but he has a lot of great moments here. Elroy has a great feel as a drummer, but I hope to hear him be a little less reserved in the future. Remember Paul Hester's long, sparky drum fill on Tall Trees, leading into the bridge? That's the sort of energy I'd love to hear from Elroy down the line.

The only track I actively dislike is Playing With Fire and I've already said a lot about that. I don't at all consider it a "dud" of a song, it just bugs me for reasons of personal taste. Real Life Woman is fine, but just feels a bit filler. And starting the chorus with "Talkin' bout a" feels kind of lame and almost unintentionally funny or parodic.

So yeah, while I had some fairly strong reservations about adding his sons to the band, it turned out to be a good thing! It's a really solid and interesting album with a handful of real gems, and that's all I dared to hope for. And I wouldn't be surprised if the next album, which I'm really excited about, is on the level of their very best.

Quite enjoyed your review and agree with all But I feel Real Life Woman IMO would be in tier one.  Thanks again ✌️

@chouse86 posted:

I think it's quite a bit better than the previous 2 albums, but I still think it'd be better if they trimmed it down a bit as the 2nd half of the album tails off a bit. Just 10 songs... I'll lose "Start Of Something" and "Goodnight Everyone"...

Oh, I LOVE "Start of Something", though it might have fit better on a Neil solo album. Kind of agree on "Goodnight Everyone", Liam could have kept it for his own next project. But personally, 10 songs is just too short.

But overall, DAW is a great album.

Add Reply

Post
    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, Frenz.com. All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×