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The current lineup is Neil Finn, Liam Finn (guitar, vocals?), Mitchell Froom (keyboards, production?), Nick Seymour and Elroy Finn (drums).

It's not a glorified Neil solo album, at least in my opinion, they've got Neil, Nick and Froom involved. They gathered properly as a band in Los Angeles in late 2019/early 2020. It seems like they were in the thick of recording the album when the pandemic hit, so some of it must have been finished during the lockdown.

I'm still curious about some of the other credits, like who officially produced it? Neil and Mitchell, I would assume? And who mixed it - I would guess either Tchad Blake or Bob Clearmountain.

The snippet posted above is promising. It sounds like Neil is indeed back in Crowded House mode as I think of it, or at least as I prefer it, the classic style of their earlier albums, listenable and catchy. Kind of a "Cruel to Be Kind" vibe to that one. I'm excited to hear more.

I hardly ever post here, but I was really excited to check out the new song.  Great start to the song, with a really nifty bass part, but then it goes right into the chorus which I honestly find kind of weak and since they repeat it so much I am currently underwhelmed.   The verses are much much better melodically.  Someone in the you tube comments said it sounded Bowie-ish.  I don't think so.  I think it sounds like someone trying to fit a melody to an already written bass / drum part.  Bravo for the new CH music fellas.  Maybe a few more listens will help me appreciate it more?

Hm. As a lead single it seems pretty ho-hum compared to Don't Stop Now, for example. I like the production and the band sounds good. I'll keep listening but if I'm honest, I'm underwhelmed.

I'm remembering now, I had a very similar reaction to Saturday Sun a decade ago. I sure hope I like this album more than Intriguer.

Last edited by slowpogo

The song is catchy (sticks in the head pretty good....easy feat for a small mind like mine...lol)....someone said sounds like Pajama Club.  I felt the same.  And that is not too bad because something from Pajama Club was way overdue anyway, in my opinion.  They could have edited out the toilet scene though.  Now I can't show this to my wife, kid, grandparents etc etc.  lol.  Kinda embarrassed to send it to anyone.   

@renzo posted:

The song is catchy (sticks in the head pretty good....easy feat for a small mind like mine...lol)....someone said sounds like Pajama Club.  I felt the same.  And that is not too bad because something from Pajama Club was way overdue anyway, in my opinion.   

I would have been happy with a new PC album (yes, I liked the first one. sue me.)  But I'm having a hard time imagining this thrown into the middle of a bunch of Crowded House classics in concert. I feel like after the tour to promote the new album, it will be largely forgotten, at least live.

But, as has been noted before, sometimes Neil doesn't choose the most obvious for the first single; hopefully the rest of the album will recall more of the CH vibe.

At the 1:09 mark of the video.... is that perhaps Elroy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZggTaHMoQYs&t=69s

I will listen to the song some more, but honestly it left me a bit... disinterested.  If it wasn't CH I don't know if I would have played the whole thing, and I doubt seriously that I would give it a second spin.   Most songs that stick with me over the long haul have to grow on me, but this doesn't feel like one of those songs.

I like it a lot.  Lots of people making a Pajama Club comparison but I don't really see that (apart from the prominent bass line).

For me the more obvious influence is Lindsay Buckingham-era Fleetwood Mac - both in the sophisticated arrangement and the vocals, with Neil singing at the very edge of his range in places.  His time singing those Buckingham songs with FM has rubbed off on him - in a good way.

Makes me very interested to hear the rest of the album.

I like it.

The song has made a better impression on me than Don't Stop Now or Saturday Sun. It certainly is more in an art-pop direction and, if i'm being honest, doesn't really reflect an earlier Crowded House sound (it could sort of work on Woodface).

But, the song has charm and heart (whilst lacking a Hart of another kind). I still think it was a mistake to let Mark loose as there are some palpable tonal differences with this lineup. The drum sound of the last 15-20 years also continues to be a bugbear of mine where there's a certain snare and echo lacking (although it seemed to return for Everyone Is here).

A great song which makes for an interesting context for the upcoming album.

Any release dates? Titles? At the moment it just looks like a standalone single.

I’m not into the video. Would rather see the band than whatever is going on there. But the song is great! Catchy and fun!

The opening bass and drums remind me a lot of “Saturday Sun.” It also sounds a lot like all the other albums Neil has released in the last ten years but better produced. Except for Out of Silence. It doesn’t sounds anything like that.

The album is called Dreamers Are Waiting but no clue on the release date.

@slowpogo posted:

The current lineup is Neil Finn, Liam Finn (guitar, vocals?), Mitchell Froom (keyboards, production?), Nick Seymour and Elroy Finn (drums).

It's not a glorified Neil solo album, at least in my opinion, they've got Neil, Nick and Froom involved. They gathered properly as a band in Los Angeles in late 2019/early 2020. It seems like they were in the thick of recording the album when the pandemic hit, so some of it must have been finished during the lockdown.

I'm still curious about some of the other credits, like who officially produced it? Neil and Mitchell, I would assume? And who mixed it - I would guess either Tchad Blake or Bob Clearmountain.

The snippet posted above is promising. It sounds like Neil is indeed back in Crowded House mode as I think of it, or at least as I prefer it, the classic style of their earlier albums, listenable and catchy. Kind of a "Cruel to Be Kind" vibe to that one. I'm excited to hear more.

Mix is by David Boucher.  Mastered by Bob Ludwig.  Producer credit is “Crowded House”.

I’m liking it more and more. It definitely put an extra skip in my step walking in the snow from downtown Winnipeg to my house 30 min away. Skipping in my mind all the way...but in a good way. So all in all I’m happy with the song and hoping the album is going to be amazing. Oh ya, one more thing, I like that it is more upbeat (I guess in a more happy key) than Don’t Stop Now or Saturday Sun. It does sound like his sons will have an influence on the sound and give things extra energy....

via NME: Neil Finn said that the song focuses on “waking up with the fear after last night’s revelry. We can all relate to that.”

That's interesting, as a lot of people on social media are reading it as anti-populist. I can certainly understand (and dig) that interpretation.

I also think of it as a sister song to another opener, Nobody Wants To, which in my mind was about the way we tiptoe around difficult or taboo subjects to our own demise.

With a few more listens, it's coming into focus and seems stronger than my first impression. I'm not really hearing the PJC comparison to be honest. The arrangement sounds modern and busy but still has a lot of the interplay I think of from Crowded House. My ear doesn't like the part at 1:40, something about the vocal styling there doesn't sit well.

The mix sounds really good (the reverb tail at the end is gorgeous!). It was mixed by David Boucher, a former assistant to Bob Clearmountain who has also worked with Mitchell Froom in the past. He's got the perfect pedigree, and it's really cool to see a young guy bridging the traditions of the past into the present...much like Finn's sons are doing.

Last edited by slowpogo
@slowpogo posted:

The current lineup is Neil Finn, Liam Finn (guitar, vocals?), Mitchell Froom (keyboards, production?), Nick Seymour and Elroy Finn (drums).

Gee, might as well just badge it as the Finn Family Band.

I guess Crowded House is just Neil & Nick & Whoever, and there's probably no point re-litigating the discussion about Mark and Matt, but the line has definitely got blurry between Neil's various projects.

Suppose it's the music that matters. This song is alright. I'm not wild about it but I don't dislike it either. Perhaps contrary to most people, I view "Saturday Sun" as one of Crowded House's best songs and it totally oversold the album for me, which is generally a little bland really. So I guess it would be better to be the other way around: a listenable but unremarkable lead single (i.e. this) and a consistently good album.

Anyway, what interests me the most is a tour and the setlist variation from night to night. Pity the border situation means it would be a gamble for me to grab some tickets for the NZ shows.

For a good number of years people in this forum (me included) have been pointing out neil’s music has lacked energy... there’s only so much toe tapping u can do to endless keyboard and string recordings.

So while it’s heartening to see  a return to an energetic hustle and with it a forceful vocal, im quite stunned at the complete lack of melody.

For a guy renowned, famed even, for his gorgeous melodies, particularly under the brand ‘crowded house’, this really is borderline tuneless.

A tortured and forced lyric designed to be repeated endlessly, it’s little wonder his grandson runs around the room singing it.

Frankly, It’s designed for a three year old.

ive listened to it about four times now and im struggling to get thru it.

and i dont understand why theyve gone once again for the muddied muted snare sound yet again. The production has liam’s fingerprints all over it.

i dunno ... im feeling completely whelmed by it all... certainly not ‘over’ but really decidedly ‘under’.

im not sure he has made a compelling argument about why i should care about CH3.0.

i look forward to the rest of the album but so far the concerns about an all singing all dancing finn family pajama band appear well founded.

I wouldnt be surprised if neil’s renowned inability to pick a lead single has again obscured ten other amazing songs on the album. God i hope so. Like everyone else here, i’ll be watching this space with great affection and high hopes. But he hasnt hooked me in again yet.

ps - im probly showing my age, but who is mac delmarco? Never heard of him til i saw him sitting on a toilet in a crowded house music video. There’s a sentence i never thought i’d be saying.

They played "Either Side of the World" every night of their 2016 Opera House shows. It's probably the best song on Intriguer, so good to see that it still gets an outing. It'll be interesting to see what from TOE and Intriguer gets included in the new set lists. But let's not kid ourselves, Crowded House is known world wide for their first four albums. Nothing Neil has done since or will do in the future is ever going to match the success of those albums. And there's nothing wrong with that. He knows that when he goes out touring as Crowded House, the expectation is that he will draw heavily from the original CH albums. Not because the other albums are bad, but because he built is fanbase off of those original albums, not on the reunion tours 10+ years later.

What's exciting is that Crowded House is back and that means new adventures, yes, but more than anything it means indulging nostalgia for all the fans of the original four albums. Whether it's at a live concert, a radio performance, or webcast, people will be talking about Crowded House and remembering Crowded House over the next year more than they have since at least the 2016 Opera House shows, if not since the release of Intriguer, over ten years ago.

Of course, I'd love it if everyone was thrilled by the new single but, even if you hate it, your favorite band is back and reviving all the incredible material that you originally fell in love with. Let the new album be a curiosity, but don't let it define the great nostalgic indulgences that lie ahead.

I think it will be really cool to see and hear Mitchell Froom play with Neil and Nick. He literally crafted the Crowded House sound with his own bare hands. I'm excited to see what he bring to the live shows. Nick, Neil, and Mitchell is a totally valid lineup for Crowded House, especially if what you love are the albums Mitchell produced. I love Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod, but I also trust Neil. Liam especially brings energy and great harmonies that were both lacking during the 2010 tour.

This is all easier for me to say because I transitioned from being a Crowded House fan to Neil Finn fan back in 1998. I see all his work as a single progression, all of which I just file under "Crowded House" in my iTunes. I haven't been disappointed by a Neil Finn release since Conflicting Emotions in 1983. I think the new album is going to be great!

I too have loved pretty much all of Neil's solo work. Great songs, great records. I've got tickets for London (where I live) which are meant to be valid for Summer 2021. So jealous of New Zealanders with real concerts, and crowds! My sister and her family live in Christchurch, and I have been known to Google how to emigrate, or even visit : )

Now that I know it is obviously about Trump, my love for the song has increased a few notches up.  I love the lyrics:

As crazy as a king As bent as a snake There are some things they will never ever say And people will tell you whatever you want Whatever you want To keep you in your place Hear the lying every day I see the same expressions on them How they long to speak their mind But something always stops them dead Should be shouting from the mountain At their top of their voice This is not right, this man is a fake But they will follow him down to the edge of the cliff And if he tells them to jump, They will jump right in Some people will tell you Whatever you want Whatever you want You got em well trained now Whatever you want.

Ok, after my 8th/ 10th listen I think I qualify to give my verdict.

First listen, I thought it was awkard. The melody and chords didn't seem to match up, and the lyric seemed too preoccupied with making its point about snake oil-salesman.

Now though, i think i've figured out what's going on. Enjoyment of this track relies upon you finding where the beat lies ("some people" landing on beats 3 and 4, and the beginning of the verse starts a new bar after a bar of 2/4, a little trick heard before the solo on one "Don't Dream It's Over"). This all ties up pretty nicely with the theme of the track, one about deceptive actors.

What i love about this track though is that it's the first track post re-formation that "sounds" like Crowded House. Is it their best tune? Not particularly, but the production flourishes (the semiquaver tin drums in the bass solo) seem essential to the song, unlike like the vocoder on "Saturday Sun" or the wah-wah pedal flourishes on Time On Earth.

What I love about this track most though is that it has a sense of fun to it, which the tracks on Time On Earth and Intriguer didn't. I also believe that we'll get a handful of tracks on the album that will stand among Crowded House's best.

Overall score, 7.5/10

https://www.frenzforum.com/top...4#652095052193572654

I saw the trailer fro the New Zealand tour the other day . For me Whatever You Want fitted in great with the other classic songs !.

What a great new single this is ! I wasn't sure if at 61/62 , Neil could still come up with something this catchy and commercial - but boy has he

Don't particularly get the strong Pajama Club similarities that some have suggested. Pajama Club was part of Neils journey where he's picked up some new sonic tricks, and they will inform some ongoing musical decisions,but apart from that...

The opening is very reminiscent of Saturday Sun ( a vastly underated single imo) As it continues though, I'm very aware of the sonic similarities to Crowded House circa '96. The drum and bass sounds of Everything Is Good For You and Instinct .

If the rest of the album is up to this standard - I can't wait ! Can't stop singing this song !

I think what Painaporo said is spot on.

Its almost impossible to judge an album on an opening track / lead song. Its big, bright, loud and bouncy. Somewhere I read someone describe it as Crowded Enz.... I liked that - it made sense to me. There is lots of fun in this song!

Gut feel is the album will be top - listening to the interview on double J, it sounds like a big 'up' of a record and I can understand why the sad songs and quiet songs might have maybe have been held back at the moment. The production is modernist... a little low fi, a few hints to the pajama club sound maybe. Can't wait for this record.

We have been incredibly spoilt and looked after by Neil and family this year with the daily shows, unheard demo's and a new Crowded House record. For those who aren't so sure right now - sometimes I find the new songs take a while to settle. Have given it a fair few listens since Wednesday evening. I was expecting WYW - I thought the new songs would be a big contrast to both Lightsleeper and Out of Silence. Hoping they sneak out another one soon for us :-)

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 think the one big thing learnt through all this globally is that we all have to work together as one. Things have gone extremely backward in the last 4 years. Also, the attitude of putting down people, denying experts, environmental etc has unfortunately seeped into the psyche of so many young people. Will take a long time to reverse that. Neil must have been so affected by that in his time in LA.

@Paināporo posted:

They played "Either Side of the World" every night of their 2016 Opera House shows. It's probably the best song on Intriguer, so good to see that it still gets an outing. It'll be interesting to see what from TOE and Intriguer gets included in the new set lists. But let's not kid ourselves, Crowded House is known world wide for their first four albums. Nothing Neil has done since or will do in the future is ever going to match the success of those albums. And there's nothing wrong with that. He knows that when he goes out touring as Crowded House, the expectation is that he will draw heavily from the original CH albums. Not because the other albums are bad, but because he built is fanbase off of those original albums, not on the reunion tours 10+ years later.

What's exciting is that Crowded House is back and that means new adventures, yes, but more than anything it means indulging nostalgia for all the fans of the original four albums. Whether it's at a live concert, a radio performance, or webcast, people will be talking about Crowded House and remembering Crowded House over the next year more than they have since at least the 2016 Opera House shows, if not since the release of Intriguer, over ten years ago.

Of course, I'd love it if everyone was thrilled by the new single but, even if you hate it, your favorite band is back and reviving all the incredible material that you originally fell in love with. Let the new album be a curiosity, but don't let it define the great nostalgic indulgences that lie ahead.

I think it will be really cool to see and hear Mitchell Froom play with Neil and Nick. He literally crafted the Crowded House sound with his own bare hands. I'm excited to see what he bring to the live shows. Nick, Neil, and Mitchell is a totally valid lineup for Crowded House, especially if what you love are the albums Mitchell produced. I love Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod, but I also trust Neil. Liam especially brings energy and great harmonies that were both lacking during the 2010 tour.

This is all easier for me to say because I transitioned from being a Crowded House fan to Neil Finn fan back in 1998. I see all his work as a single progression, all of which I just file under "Crowded House" in my iTunes. I haven't been disappointed by a Neil Finn release since Conflicting Emotions in 1983. I think the new album is going to be great!

I will certainly miss Mark but the 2010 shows were some of the most lacklustre Crowdies gigs if have seen. Am also hoping Liam will bring his vocal chops and add energy and some chaos to the proceedings - I  have a hunch that Nick is going to thrive playing with Elroy and Liam. Thanks for bringing some positivity about new line up and song (s) to the table!

Interesting. The 2010 shows were some of my favorites. But to each their own.

I wonder whether WYW would feel a little stronger with a different intro. Between the bass and the effect-laden vocals at the start it just feels harder than it should be to grab hold of. Once Neil’s lead vocal comes in, it’s a fun song with a good groove, but the first few seconds is a bit disorienting, I think.

Setlist watching is going to be fun if we end up with

WYW

WWY

WWYL

next to one another.

Last edited by Thom Bullock

I wonder whether WYW would feel a little stronger with a different intro. Between the bass and the effect-laden vocals at the start it just feels harder than it should be to grab hold of. Once Neil’s lead vocal comes in, it’s a fun song with a good groove, but the first few seconds is a bit disorienting, I think.

I'm actually reminded of Wilco a little bit, who we know the Finn family admire. Wilco basically write pop songs, but they are abstracted and arty to some extent. As Jeff Tweedy has said, the band usually works out a straightforward version of a song, how you'd probably expect it to go, and then they intentionally mess with it to find more interesting angles. I sense a similar approach here.

That said, I actually think the opening is the most straightforward part of the song! If you imagine the vocals without the processing, it actually sounds like the chorus of a more traditional Crowded House tune. Then when Neil comes in fully, the harmony becomes more modal and things get more abstracted. That's how I hear it, anyway.

But then the "Every night/every day" part is pretty tuneful and easy to grab onto.

I'm finding this track reveals itself a lot over time, even if it doesn't give that much of an impression up front. I never found the same to be true of Saturday Sun, for example, it felt bland and never got much deeper. So I'm pretty interested to hear the entire album.

Interesting. The 2010 shows were some of my favorites. But to each their own.



Having listened to the entire 2010 US Intriguer tour, I've gotta say I think it was wonderful. It had some weak moments. Neil's voice went out a lot and songs like "Archer's Arrows" and "Isolation" really didn't translate well. But the full tour released by Kafula (and, unlike the 2007 tour, properly mixed) is one of my favorite CH things. So rare to have an entire tour with so much setlist variety recorded with such a consistent sound.

I actually have smart playlists set up in iTunes that recreate each CH album by randomly selecting only live versions of each song from the 2010 tour. After a song is played it gets automatically replaced with a different live version from the same tour. I have a lot of fun listening to it and the songs mostly sound terrific. If there's a dud, I just down rate it to 1 star and it never plays again!

Can't wait to hear the new single played live. I also hope to hear an acoustic in-studio performance soon too!

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.

I'm strictly talking about the dynamics of audio here and "sound" rather than genre or style. I just picked up the latest AC/DC record and i'm giving it a listen now.

The sound is sharp, crisp and "full" - particularly on the backing harmonies. This is what I wish Neil's recordings would have more of in terms of that fuller/fatter/warmer sound. While I enjoy the latest song, there's still that "thinness" to the sound.

But would I be averse to Better Jailbreak Home Soon?

Absolutely not.

@renzo posted:

Does anyone have an idea as to when the new album is to be released? I would think sometime in December? Too bad Covid will prevent North American tour although maybe a summer or fall 2021 tour is a possibility....

Neil stated in an interview that the release was being held back till the vinyl version was ready . He wanted a grand release with all formats being simultaneously available . I think maybe FEB / MARCH was mentioned ?

The British /  European tour has been rescheduled for summer '21 . U.S. to follow that maybe ?

I still think it is a pretty good song.  Maybe 6/10 to rate it.  Live, alot can be done with it and it would be a hoot to be a part of.  Seeing those old farts dancing around.  lol.  Do you get the feeling there is a Crowded House hand off to the younger guys sometime in the future?  Good to carry on the name I guess....

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