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Only listened to the song a handful of times so too early for me to tell if I like it, but my gripe so far is with the sound quality. I know it's only youtube, but the sound quality seems similar to most Finn releases of the last few years. Apart from Out of Silence, I have been frustrated with Finn releases for years due to a sound that is overly basey. I don't have the technical words to describe the sound but it's frustrating.

I like the song but I agree that the sound -- overly compressed and pressed flat, without any space in the mix -- is disappointing. The keyboard touches and backing vocals need some space around them to be fully appreciated. There's some hope that the vinyl will correct this but the vinyl needledrop of Lightsleeper I've heard didn't improve on this aspect at all.

I like the song but I agree that the sound -- overly compressed and pressed flat, without any space in the mix -- is disappointing. The keyboard touches and backing vocals need some space around them to be fully appreciated. There's some hope that the vinyl will correct this but the vinyl needledrop of Lightsleeper I've heard didn't improve on this aspect at all.

WEll, upon analyzation, I don't think that I have actually heard a vinyl needledrop of Lightsleeper, unfortunately.  The file I have seems to actually just be a CD rip.... and sounds identical to the iTunes version I bought.

I enjoy reading everyone's impressions on the first single from the new CH album. Lots of really interesting comments and comparisons to different songs or sounds from the past. I actually tend to agree with many of you...

Now I'm going to go out on a limb, and venture to say that 2 of the main things that might be in the way of giving this single a 'fair shot' or simply an unbiased listening experience are:

1. the new lineup (no Mark or Matt); like it or not, is has affected some of us, even if at a subconscious level...

2. the video (nothing against the director or Mac DeMarco); IMO CH videos have never been effective Ambassadors for their music. I actually think they may be to blame for not allowing many of their releases to reach their full potential...

Whether you agree with me or not (I respect differences in tastes and point of views), I invite you to participate in a little experiment:

Listen to the new song (WYW) while watching the Music video for Don't Stop Now (on mute of course). It doesn't matter if the singing, playing or images don't line up (that's not the point). I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what you'll hear and how you'll feel about this song... Try it!

New Single (WYW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?...amp;feature=emb_logo

Don't Stop Now video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGZJKsTHXG0

Last edited by BRANDO BRANDT

I enjoy reading everyone's impressions on the first single from the new CH album. Lots of really interesting comments and comparisons to different songs or sounds from the past. I actually tend to agree with many of you...

Now I'm going to go out on a limb, and venture to say that 2 of the main things that might be in the way of giving this single a 'fair shot' or simply an unbiased listening experience are:

1. the new lineup (no Mark or Matt); like it or not, is has affected some of us, even if at a subconscious level...

2. the video (nothing against the director or Mac DeMarco); IMO CH videos have never been effective Ambassadors for their music. I actually think they may be to blame for not allowing many of their releases to reach their full potential...

Whether you agree with me or not (I respect differences in tastes and point of views), I invite you to participate in a little experiment:

Listen to the new song (WYW) while watching the Music video for Don't Stop Now (on mute of course). It doesn't matter if the singing, playing or images don't line up (that's not the point). I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what you'll hear and how you'll feel about this song... Try it!

New Single (WYW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?...amp;feature=emb_logo

Don't Stop Now video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGZJKsTHXG0

I like your suggestion for putting on Don't Stop Now on mute and listen to WYW. Just to be lighthearted though I would probably think, "wow, Mark's backing vocals has definitely changed!" Hehe!

And referring to point 1 - yep, I'll probably be in that minority. Just the way how some music band fans are...

I guess the problem in a way, is that every time Neil releases something under the Crowded House banner, expectations are so much heightened amongst his fans. The Crowded House back catalogue is pretty damn formidable.

If I had heard this song on a Neil solo album, then I'd have thought it was enjoyable enough. But then I don't play his solo albums very often compared to CH or Split Enz.

I wouldn't want to replace any song on the first four albums by Crowded House with this one. Probably not the Crowded House mk II albums either.

Daniel

I remember when Saturday Sun came out. I was living in New Zealand at the time and think I heard it on Campbell Live (great days). I  remember thinking that the song sounded like Crowded House in a way that Time on Earth hadn't - even though I absolutely adore that album. I feel similarly about this song. It's unmistakably a Crowded House song but with a more modern production. Is it their best song? Not by a long chalk.  But I feel it sounds like Crowded House in a way that Neil solo doesn't. I also think it's a better pop song than Saturday Sun which I always felt was a bit clunky.

I'm delighted that this song exists and I have been enjoying it greatly. It seems to fit in the expanded Crowded House catalog nicely and leaves me feeling positive about the forthcoming album. It also has some late Enz vibes to my ears. In fact if I just heard the verse and someone told me this was the first single from a reformed Split Enz I'd think they had absolutely nailed it. Vocally I think Neil sounds amazing.

Just my 2 cents


@renzo posted:

With this song blatantly blasting Trump, i’m wondering what other times has Neil ventured into the political arena. I know he has voiced his political view in the past in terms of New Zealand politics. Knowing it is blasting Trump sends an extra energy into it, especially if you feel you want that “bent as a snake”, “fake” guy out of office. I guess Neil’s time in LA has enhanced his views on American politics. We can’t ignore the importance of this aspect of the song....

I'm not sure about Neil, but during the US tour for the first record, Paul was pretty outspoken about his feelings for President Reagan.

Personally, I'd prefer that artists stay off the political soapbox and focus on writing great songs.  But Neil did a great job of implying his true feelings without necessarily naming names.  In fact, the song's lyrics could refer to any number of people, not just a particular US president.  And I thank him for that approach.

I've not commented on WYW because, well, to be honest, I was disappointed and saddened by the song.  As others have noted, releasing it under the CH name will buy the project a little more attention than it would if he'd called it something else.  But it also raises expectations; it certainly raised mine.

I also hoped that Neil's work with Fleetwood Mac might have pushed him in a more band-centric direction.  Maybe I need to be careful what I ask, because WYW sounds more like a Buckingham solo track than an FM one.

My expectations increased again when I heard the new line-up's versions of DDIO and FAYF and SSS, which were surprisingly respectful of the spirit of the original recordings.  They weren't carbon copies, but they captured the vibe of the songs very well.  "Maybe this new band can recapture the magic," I thought to myself.

If WYW is any indication, that's not going to happen (even if the band is clearly capable of doing so).

I was discussing the song with a friend of mine, and I realized that I actually liked the song a little more each time I heard it.  I finally downloaded it from the iTunes store last night and listened to it in the car on the way to the office this morning.  It sounds infinitely better in the car than it does on YouTube, etc.

But I still can't get around the fact that this doesn't feel or sound much like a CH song.  I like it.  But I'd probably like it more as a Neil side project release.

Two things affirmed this for me.  First, I followed WYW with a few of the more polished bonus tracks from the reissues.  "Recurring Dream." "Convent Girls." "I Am in Love."  Those are STRONG songs that reminded me of the foundation on which Crowded House's career is built: Neil's writing.

Neil's talent for melody is unmatched, but for the last 10 years or so, it's almost like he's deliberately avoiding his greatest strength.

Did anyone else download the Solo at the Seymour Centre Desk Tape benefit?  The piano version of "Into the Sunset" was a second reminder for me of the kinds of tunes Neil is capable of writing. What a lovely song and performance.  Check it out:

https://youtu.be/41v27TqCG0c

If the new record has just one song that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder, melodically, with "Into the Sunset" or even the CH studio outtakes from the reissue sets, I'll regard that as a win for fans.

I don't expect another WWY or BBHS.  It's not fair to expect Neil, at this point in his life, to repeat former successes.  And I don't mind experimentation like he's done for the last 10 years or so with the side projects and more recent solo work.  But if it's called Crowded House, it needs something more than quirky bits and a groovy bassline.  I mean, TOGETHER ALONE had a very different sound than the previous CH records, but it retained (exceeded?) the songwriting quality.  That's what I'd like: a new twist on a familiar sound.

Based on WYW, I'm probably not getting what(ever) I want.  And that's okay.  I can pretend it's his next side project, and it'll be fine.

matt

Last edited by mattl
@Welsh Dan posted:

Yes he did. And shortly after, my mum messaged me, asking "Is the new Crowded House song political?"

I've played it a few times today, it seems to suit the mood on this, an important day. I think it might be a grower. I like it more now than when I first heard it.

Ah got it now ! I was pressing the wrong button DUH

I like it more with every listen Welsh Dan !

@mattl posted:

I'm not sure about Neil, but during the US tour for the first record, Paul was pretty outspoken about his feelings for President Reagan.

Personally, I'd prefer that artists stay off the political soapbox and focus on writing great songs.  But Neil did a great job of implying his true feelings without necessarily naming names.  In fact, the song's lyrics could refer to any number of people, not just a particular US president.  And I thank him for that approach.

I've not commented on WYW because, well, to be honest, I was disappointed and saddened by the song.  As others have noted, releasing it under the CH name will buy the project a little more attention than it would if he'd called it something else.  But it also raises expectations; it certainly raised mine.

I also hoped that Neil's work with Fleetwood Mac might have pushed him in a more band-centric direction.  Maybe I need to be careful what I ask, because WYW sounds more like a Buckingham solo track than an FM one.

My expectations increased again when I heard the new line-up's versions of DDIO and FAYF and SSS, which were surprisingly respectful of the spirit of the original recordings.  They weren't carbon copies, but they captured the vibe of the songs very well.  "Maybe this new band can recapture the magic," I thought to myself.

If WYW is any indication, that's not going to happen (even if the band is clearly capable of doing so).

I was discussing the song with a friend of mine, and I realized that I actually liked the song a little more each time I heard it.  I finally downloaded it from the iTunes store last night and listened to it in the car on the way to the office this morning.  It sounds infinitely better in the car than it does on YouTube, etc.

But I still can't get around the fact that this doesn't feel or sound much like a CH song.  I like it.  But I'd probably like it more as a Neil side project release.

Two things affirmed this for me.  First, I followed WYW with a few of the more polished bonus tracks from the reissues.  "Recurring Dream." "Convent Girls." "I Am in Love."  Those are STRONG songs that reminded me of the foundation on which Crowded House's career is built: Neil's writing.

Neil's talent for melody is unmatched, but for the last 10 years or so, it's almost like he's deliberately avoiding his greatest strength.

Did anyone else download the Solo at the Seymour Centre Desk Tape benefit?  The piano version of "Into the Sunset" was a second reminder for me of the kinds of tunes Neil is capable of writing. What a lovely song and performance.  Check it out:

https://youtu.be/41v27TqCG0c

If the new record has just one song that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder, melodically, with "Into the Sunset" or even the CH studio outtakes from the reissue sets, I'll regard that as a win for fans.

I don't expect another WWY or BBHS.  It's not fair to expect Neil, at this point in his life, to repeat former successes.  And I don't mind experimentation like he's done for the last 10 years or so with the side projects and more recent solo work.  But if it's called Crowded House, it needs something more than quirky bits and a groovy bassline.  I mean, TOGETHER ALONE had a very different sound than the previous CH records, but it retained (exceeded?) the songwriting quality.  That's what I'd like: a new twist on a familiar sound.

Based on WYW, I'm probably not getting what(ever) I want.  And that's okay.  I can pretend it's his next side project, and it'll be fine.

matt

The song could be about anyone but it was 100% obviously made for Trump. No offence but one thing that drives me nuts is when people say that a certain song is not really about someone but it definitely is or when a song is inspired by a real life episode in their life and that episode is essentially recreated in the song. I know Neil has done this a lot but people still say those particular songs are just made up in his head. I know with me as a songwriter, I will experience an episode or deal with someone and write a whole song about it or them...makes for easy but genuine writing. Learned that from Neil young who used to live a few blocks away from where I live now in Winnipeg.

Well, well, hello there.  Look who’s back.  

First time for me on these boards for a decade.  Good to see some familiar names here — Paināporo, renzo, slowpogo, stuartjb, Welsh Dan!  And wonderful, of course, to see you all in the context of a rare Crowded House koha (gift).

I’m reserving judgment for now on Whatever You Want.  To my ears it’s less Pajama Club and more late-period Crowded House 1.0: the opening is reminiscent of the opening bars of Instinct, though the groove is something different.  I must say that, after my first few listens, I am keenly missing Paul’s and Mark’s (very different) drumming.  The song isn’t hooking me yet.  But who knows?  Maybe it will eventually.  I’m glad that it’s pointing in newer, less AOR directions than Intriguer.

After the disappointment of Intriguer I’ve barely listened to Crowded House 1.0 or 2.0 all this while.  But lockdown here in India (where I’ve lived since 2013) has made me homesick and I’ve been turning back to some of the old Finn chestnuts to satiate my longing for Kiwiana.  Along the way, I’ve discovered some of the bonus tracks from earlier albums, and fallen head over heels in love with Here’s A Note from the Time on Earth sessions.  Why, oh why, wasn’t it on the album?  Given its father-passing-on-the-torch-to-sons theme, Here’s A Note would make an ideal number for the Neil-Liam-Elroy Crowded House 3.0 to take on the road.  I hope I get to hear it live, though I guess a Crowdie date in Delhi is the longest of long shots.

PS the song isn’t about the Orange Blob.  It’s about my current country of residence’s PM.

Last edited by Watney Sideburns

Well, well, hello there.  Look who’s back.  

First time for me on these boards for a decade.  Good to see some familiar names here — Paināporo, renzo, slowpogo, stuartjb, Welsh Dan!  And wonderful, of course, to see you all in the context of a rare Crowded House koha (gift).

I’m reserving judgment for now on Whatever You Want.  To my ears it’s less Pajama Club and more late-period Crowded House 1.0: the opening is reminiscent of the opening bars of Instinct, though the groove is something different.  I must say that, after my first few listens, I am keenly missing Paul’s and Mark’s (very different) drumming.  The song isn’t hooking me yet.  But who knows?  Maybe it will eventually.  I’m glad that it’s pointing in newer, less AOR directions than Intriguer.

After the disappointment of Intriguer I’ve barely listened to Crowded House 1.0 or 2.0 all this while.  But lockdown here in India (where I’ve lived since 2013) has made me homesick and I’ve been turning back to some of the old Finn chestnuts to satiate my longing for Kiwiana.  Along the way, I’ve discovered some of the bonus tracks from earlier albums, and fallen head over heels in love with Here’s A Note from the Time on Earth sessions.  Why, oh why, wasn’t it on the album?  Given its father-passing-on-the-torch-to-sons theme, Here’s A Note would make an ideal number for the Neil-Liam-Elroy Crowded House 3.0 to take on the road.  I hope I get to hear it live, though I guess a Crowdie date in Delhi is the longest of long shots.

PS the song isn’t about the Orange Blob.  It’s about my current country of residence’s PM.

Hi @Watney Sideburns

Nothing bad has happened to me!  I just exited the boards after the damp squib of Intriguer, and with no new Crowded House albums after that I didn’t return till now.  

I’m fine.  Ten years older, and grayer.  And struggling to adjust to a very different world from the one in which I last chatted with you — not least here in India, which has taken a very dark path politically.  Otherwise everything else is pretty much OK with me.  Thanks for your concern, Renzo.

What’s happened to some of the other old regulars — Beajai, BART, Double-H, Paul H?  And the inimitable Mister Sadly?  Maybe a few other familiar names will resurface now there’s the promise of a new album.

I know I will get slapped for bringing this up on the Crowded House side, but Watney, what is your feeling on the last two Neil Finn solo albums? I do still like Dizzy Heights. A few gems on there. By fluke I saw him on that tour in Vancouver and it was quite a show. I thought that album would have stirred your soul and made you dig up to see the light...

@renzo posted:

I know I will get slapped for bringing this up on the Crowded House side, but Watney, what is your feeling on the last two Neil Finn solo albums? I do still like Dizzy Heights. A few gems on there. By fluke I saw him on that tour in Vancouver and it was quite a show. I thought that album would have stirred your soul and made you dig up to see the light...

I have come to conclusion that Dizzy Heights is my least favourite Neil solo album. I think Divebomber is the worst thing Neil ever recorded, and I'm afraid I don't like The Lights of New York either. The rest is decent , but not comparable to TWT or One Nil for me. I'm not keen on the production either..

sorry I know I'm digressing from Crowded House's new single - which is superb

The more I listen to the new single, I really like it.  Sometimes the simply created songs, with a simple yet infectious hook, are the ones that resonate with people.  I guess that's what a lot of Crowded House's music is all about.  I also find that alot of non Crowded House fans really like it....like my son or other members of my family... (and that they finally hit a good nerve that may have been missing in terms of a strong stand alone single with regards to Crowded House 2)....and that is also another sign of great song.  It is definitely better than Saturday Sun, which seemed like it had a down atmosphere to it.  Don't Stop Now almost hit the mark but not like this one....



What’s happened to some of the other old regulars — Beajai, BART, Double-H, Paul H?  And the inimitable Mister Sadly?  Maybe a few other familiar names will resurface now there’s the promise of a new album.

I hesitate to point out that I am only back because Watney Sideburns is back. No knock to anyone of the rest of you, worthies all by my lights (and direct experience) (and really, only to the extent of said direct experience, but it has been good extent). No, my return is correlated to M. Sideburns'es because I am in fact and have always been a sock puppet of his. A supplemental user account! An alter-ego he trots out to avoid staining his esteemed escutcheon with incoherencies.

YES THAT'S RIGHT, I HAVE TURNED EVIL IN MY ABSENCE! THAT SOCK-PUPPET THING (oops, capslock) was a lie. A danged lie! Sorry, Watney. Didn't mean to tar you with my broad brush. It was the "inimitable" that got me.

Inimitable for good reason. What'd be in it for anyone? Such imiting could only redound to the bad benefit of the ape of Mr. Sadly, I superciliously expect.

What the heck am I going on about. OH. To prove its me! Going on is (or was) "my thing" was it not? To some extent? Yes, and jolly seasick.

I must be more careful what I do in my absence, going forward.

I am glad to see you sir. I expect to be glad to see all of you here, and all of you who've come. I hope to stick around. I don't see anything to prevent me doing so, and I could use some proven good in my life about now.

This place is good. For it always was good. I feel sorry to have fallen off, and I was not the gainer by such lapse.

Last edited by Mr. Sadly


I’m reserving judgment for now on Whatever You Want.

I'm not. As far as I'm concerned Mr. Neil Finn and His Largest-Currently-Available Living Things can take "Whatever You Want" and shove it Wherever You Are.

A rather blank judgment! It sounds like I'm endorsing their attempt to goose us universally and specifically up the fundament with this blatant song job. So I am. It seems a solid enough job of songcraft and production, albeit not hitting the range of joyspots in me that Neil's (or CH's) prior shots have, or at any rate, not to such extents. Still it seems like it's more than up to his recent work, and shows progress in some areas. I'm going to be willing to let it grow on me, but I'll probably wait until I can down it in the context of the whole album.

In terms of leadoff singles of CH albums, it is not first worst, and probably not even second-worst. Did Afterglow even get a single? Was it even an album?

Self-confused but willing to straighten out. Ooo, that should be my signature. I don't seem to have one at the moment.

Last edited by Mr. Sadly
@renzo posted:

I know I will get slapped for bringing this up on the Crowded House side, but Watney, what is your feeling on the last two Neil Finn solo albums? I do still like Dizzy Heights. A few gems on there. By fluke I saw him on that tour in Vancouver and it was quite a show. I thought that album would have stirred your soul and made you dig up to see the light...

I must confess I’ve barely listened to either album.  The songs just didn’t connect for me.  I’m generally agnostic-to-indifferent about Neil’s post-TWW output, with the exception of Time on Earth — which is what got me on these boards in the first place nearly 15 years ago.  But that no doubt says more about my life trajectory than his.

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