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No doubt we will see some more reviews/stories in the coming days. Anything about the album to come out of the Album Listening Session at Roundhead on 31 March was embargoed until the end of May.

I am looking forward the the reviews as well as hearing what people on the Forum think of the album (not long to go now!). The singles have certainly been a bit polarizing on the Forum . I definitely think there are some better songs on the album than those released to date.

@Paināporo posted:

I am so excited for this album. I think the three songs we’ve heard so far are terrific. The production is spot on, the songs themselves are full of life and energy and hope. Everyone in this band has lived and loved Crowded House from day one and it shows. Friday can’t come soon enough!

I'm right with you on that. You put it more succinctly than I can, Friday morning counting down.  

I think the sum of the three parts is more exciting than any of the songs individually, and I really like all of them. But there's a theme, a vibe and a standard that spans those 3 songs and has me really excited for the album as a whole.

I dont want to let hope get ahead of my expectations but I'm starting to get the sensation this album might be a bit special.

Last edited by Gathering Rain

It was never going to please everybody - and as Neil has often pointed out, his stuff is all of a piece anyway, so if, say, you’ve been turned off by everything since Intriguer, you’re not going to like this very much either, I suspect. But if you like what he’s been doing overall, from what we’ve heard so far, you’ll probably like this too.

as Neil has often pointed out, his stuff is all of a piece anyway

I don’t think this is true. Neil might perceive it that way, but artists often have a skewed perspective of their own work. What’s funny is Neil also seems to realize that once you put a song out, it’s no longer yours and it takes on a life through its audience...the same audience that perceives different sensibilities in his various projects. So I feel like he kinda talks out both sides of his mouth sometimes. There’s a reason Crowded House is his most popular & beloved vehicle, even if he can’t see it.

I haven’t been turned off by everything in the last decade, but it’s certainly his least fertile period in my view. While I don’t love the singles, I’m not uninterested either. Only a few days now...

Last edited by slowpogo
@slowpogo posted:

I don’t think this is true. Neil might perceive it that way, but artists often have a skewed perspective of their own work. What’s funny is Neil also seems to realize that once you put a song out, it’s no longer yours and it takes on a life through its audience...the same audience that perceives different sensibilities in his various projects. So I feel like he kinda talks out both sides of his mouth sometimes. There’s a reason Crowded House is his most popular & beloved vehicle, even if he can’t see it.

I haven’t been turned off by everything in the last decade, but it’s certainly his least fertile period in my view. While I don’t love the singles, I’m not uninterested either. Only a few days now...

I'm going to have to agree with Thom on this one. These new tracks sound like the logical continuation of the Dizzy Heights period, which was a continuation of the Pajama Club period. I track a lot of what Neil has been doing over the last decade back to two major points in his career- The Sun Came Out and The Hobbit.

Ever since The Sun Came Out, jamming with his wife and kids became more the norm than the exception. You could say this album is what really brought an end to the Mark/Matt era of CH. The first Pajama Club song, "Little By Little," was on the Sun Came Out along with collaborations with Liam and Elroy. Once Neil started down this path there was no turning back, though he did still finish up Intriguer with the old CH lineup. Pajama Club, Dizzy Heights, Out of Silence, and Lightsleeper all trace back to jamming with his family on The Sun Came Out.

The other major influence on Neil's art in the last decade came from his work on the Hobbit. That seems to be when he first connected with Victoria Kelly and their collaborations would go on to have a huge impact on his future albums. Obviously Out of Silence would not have happened without her, but she was a big influence on Dizzy Heights (even touring with Neil) and, to a lesser extent, on Lightsleeper too ("Where's My Room"). Don't know if she will turn up on Dreamers Are Waiting yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.

So, I agree with Thom and Neil on this point. It doesn't strictly matter what name Neil puts on an album. It's all been part of one continuous artistic journey. Neil's releases are far more likely to sound like the albums before and after them. They aren't going to suddenly sound like revivals of some previous period of Neil's life just because he chose the CH label over one of the many, many other labels he releases music under.

So, why call this one Crowded House? I think part of it is touring. Touring as Crowded House tells the audience what songs they can expect to hear. Another part is that it's going to get the album a lot more attention than it otherwise would. And for sure, I'm expecting this album to focus more on pop songs, energy, and hooks. It's going to have a chorus and an orchestra on every track like Out of Silence or have the experimental diversions of Dizzy Heights and Lightsleeper.

I think Neil's output over the last decade has been terrific and I can't wait to hear this new album. I've got a bottle of Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc and I'm ready to go!

Last edited by Paināporo

I'm not sure we disagree that much... I can agree that everything after Time On Earth has seemed to flow logically from what came before. I think that's actually why I haven't liked it as much. His previous projects all seemed to have much more distinctive vibes to me, but the last decade has seemed increasingly homegeneous and bland. And I think you're discounting the fact that something different and special happens when you put Neil and Nick (and Mark, previously) in the same room together, that doesn't happen with his other projects.

Crowded House's initial run seems like its own special island in Neil's career. That's the part I really disagree with Neil about. I can't say that 1986-1996 is "of a piece" with the rest of his career, it's just not. I've liked and occasionally loved much of his other work but that period just burns the brightest to me, and probably many others. So to hear him seem baffled as to why people put a premium on the Crowded House name, and claim it's all coming from the same well...I just disagree. And Neil is far from the first artist to have ideas about his own work that seem weird to a lot of his fans.

Last edited by slowpogo

One thing I think important about what Paināporo wrote above is that The Sun Came Out set the stage for everything since. Clearly, Neil had a better time making that record than he did making Intriguer. And that’s fine! I’m glad he found collaborators who inspired him. But fundamentally, while Neil keeps suggesting that the seeds for the current album were sown during the Fleetwood Mac tour, the ground was very much prepared during The Sun Came Out sessions.

I found the ‘08-‘10 Crowded House period extremely exciting, and I loved following along with it. But what’s done is done.

Brooklyn Vegan:

Crowded House - Dreamers are Waiting (EMI)
Neil Finn, with help from sons Liam and Elroy, reignites Crowded House for their first album in 11 years. It's terrific.

Having spent much of the 2010s making solo records and playing as part of Fleetwood Mac, Neil Finn returned home to his family and his hugely successful band Crowded House. (They've had a few hits in the U.S. but they are stadium level superstars in Australia and New Zealand.) Following a collaborative album with son Liam Finn, he renovated the House with Liam and his brother Elroy Finn, rounding out the lineup with longtime bassist Nick Seymour and producer Mitchell Froom who has worked with the band since their first album. Dreamers are Waiting, the first Crowded House album in 11 years, finds Finn and the rest of the band in fine form. They've never made a bad record and this doesn't break that streak. There's a musical symbiosis that can only come with family, and Dreamers are Waiting is a real showcase for the Finn Family's talent and songwriting abilities, not to mention good taste in production and arrangements. These are big, sweeping songs that sound rich, organic and modern without an ounce of artificiality. Finn's well of hooks and choruses has not run dry -- "Playing with Fire," "To the Island" and "Sweet Tooth" are the kind of thorny, witty, instantly catchy songs Crowded House do so well. Liam contributed a couple winners too -- the dreamy "Goodnight Everyone" and the waltz-time "Too Good For This World" -- and Elroy co-wrote the harmony-laden "Start of Something" and the soaring "Love Isn’t Hard At All." To spin an old religious adage into secular pop terms, the family that plays together, stays together. Or maybe it's the other way around. In any case, Crowded House show that greatness can be relative. (What a Finn-ish, sorry.)

The Scotsman:

...Fleetwood Mac’s touring guitarist Neil Finn comes home to his Crowded House – now populated with his sons Liam and Elroy – for the beloved antipodean band’s first album in 11 years. Dreamers are Waiting is a soothing summer cocktail of honeyed harmonies and sleepy soul, all taken at an unruffled pace, from the sunshine pop funk of Sweettooth to the heat haze wistfulness of Show Me The Way. Elegantly crafted throughout, there is a sophisticated Bacharachian scope to Playing with Fire and some delicious burnished guitar on To the Island...

Evening Standard:

https://www.standard.co.uk/cul...-review-b938442.html

This album may be warmly familiar in parts, but it also has an infectious energy

Perhaps it was Neil Finn’s recent stint as a member of Fleetwood Mac that showed him what can happen when a new generation discovers a great old band. Thanks in part to a TikTok revival of their song Dreams, Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits collection has been in the UK albums top 20 for the whole of this year so far. Finn, who toured the world as Lindsey Buckingham’s replacement between 2018 and 2019, now returns with the first Crowded House album in 11 years, and there’s a younger age bracket involved here too: his sons Liam (guitar) and Elroy (drums) have joined the band alongside the other remaining founding member, bassist Nick Seymour.

Like a venerable family business, fans from across the Melbourne-formed group’s 35-year career will find plenty that’s warmly familiar here. There’s a gentle jangle to the guitars and soothing harmonies on Start of Something. Too Good for This World drifts along smoothly, comfortable with the idea that its appealing melody is enough to retain interest.

Finn, 63, isn’t playing in his slippers just yet though. There’s an infectious energy to the rubbery Whatever You Want, as well as the triumphant horn fanfare on Playing With Fire and the thrusting guitar solo on Sweet Tooth. Some politics creep in on Whatever You Want too, with Finn complaining: “This is not right, this man is a fake/But they will follow him down to the edge of the cliff.” The greatest hits can wait. This band still has plenty more to offer.

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