Some people here have remarked on how good Side One of Dreamers Are Waiting is — so much so that they have held off on immersing themselves fully in Side Two.
On a first listen, I certainly found tracks 7-12 less compelling than 1-6. Although I quite liked Start of Something and Real Life Woman on first listen, I generally found the backend of the album far less interesting or adventurous. The long sequence of mid-tempo songs didn’t help.
Over time, though, I’ve found much to marvel at on Side 2. I can’t stop playing Goodnight Everyone, Start of Something and Love Isn’t Hard at All. These are all massive growers. I love the mixture of joy and unease in the first two, and what Elroy has done to the last with his drums is the most percussively adventurous thing I’ve heard from a Crowded House song since Together Alone.
One that hasn’t grown for me is Real Life Woman. What hooked me on the first listen now sounds too mannered to my ears. A Song about Stevie Nicks — if that’s indeed what it is — feels a little too much like those FB or Instagram photos featuring the account owner posing with their arm around a celebrity. And the lyrics, for all that they try to humanize their subject, come across after repeated listens as more than a wee bit trite.
I want to like Too Good For This World. Part of me likes its hobo shuffle feel. But I can’t help but feel that it belongs more to the more earnest Everyone Is Here-era Finn Bros oeuvre. For me it doesn’t quite fit the more dreamy ambiance of this album.
And Deeper Down still feels like an anticlimax as the album closer. It says something, perhaps, that it’s the only song on the album whose tune I can’t recall.
I’m curious to hear what others make of Side Two. Right now, for me, there are three pearls on it that are up there with the best of CH’s album tracks. That’s a pretty extraordinary strike rate. But on my Spotify playlist version of the album, I’m dropping the three others and replacing them with Here’s a Note from the Time On Earth offcuts. That’s a song I’d love to hear Neil do with the new line-up, especially given its lyrics about passing on the “note” of his music, presumably to a younger generation.