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Together Alone

Temple of Lowmen

Time On Earth


Crowded House


I think Time On Earth will become a much respected hidden treasure in years to come. It has some absolute gems that never seem to get mentioned as much as others from other albums. I also think Intriguer is a much better album than I originally gave it credit for - it could easily have ranked above the first album, for me.  I find Woodface seriously disjointed and it very much reflects the writing/recording process, which was seriously awry.

Ok, I'll bite.

Temple of Low men

Song for song, the strongest of them all IMHO. This was also the first and only one I had for a while, so it was in heavy rotation and I never minded hearing it again. A unique trip with grittyness and sublime rapture.

Together Alone

Very strong and would have been first but doesn’t hold up song for song as TOLM to me. No doubt it contains some very powerful numbers among Neil’s best works.


This is my favorite to sing along with, thanks to all the Tim harmonies. And I’ll happily sing Neil’s parts, too. But there are a few songs which I never really took to, and they tend to get skipped as I consider them novelties. I’m still here, notwithstanding.

Time on Earth

Fresh and meaningful expressions shared on compact disc. A few really good gems on an album which tends to run on like a director’s cut of a movie I already enjoy.

Crowded House

So many great moments. The telephone ring, for example. It does sound a bit dated, but the exuberance and new sound can still carry on.


A shorter collection which brought us yanks another tour, always a bonus. It just doesn’t seem as if they were trying as hard. Although when it was new I was loving every track as an earnest fan would. I also had personal things going on at this time so it’s lost some luster there. Still, better than most of the stuff on the radio (duh).

1. Temple of Low Men

Nearly a perfect album, if only Kill Eye was a tad stronger

2. Woodface

The back half has grown on me a lot, maybe 1 or 2 lesser tracks like Fame Is & Indian Plastic.


3. Time on Earth

This could end up being Neil's last hurrah of high quality. The deluxe edition reveals how many great tracks didn't make the cut, and the lyrics are laced with grief. As a kid who became a big fan in the early 00s through Recurring Dream, this (and the earlier Finn Brothers album and sensational Farewell to the World release) were my first experiences with new Finn.

4. Together Alone

A little overpraised among Crowdies, but consistent quality throughout. Has more of a live feel. Could maybe shed Walking on the Spot and re-sequence Skin Feeling.


5. Crowded House

About half of this album features some of their very best tracks (e.g. DDIO, HITR, WWYL, MTM, SSS, etc.), but the dated production is grating, particularly on lesser moments.

6. Intriguer

Just a solid album without many highs to speak of. CH are clearly capable of better, but I don't mind it.

Resurrecting this old(ish) post now Dreamers Are Waiting has arrived. Where would everyone rank DAW in their list of Crowed House albums?

For me, I'd go:

1) Together Alone (The best, magnificent, everything that can be said has and will be said better than me by others). 10/10

2) Woodface (Iconic, great collaboration between the Finn Bros with Hessie and Nick at their best). 10/10

3) Afterglow (The 2018 re-releases cemented its "official album status" for me, I truly believe we have some of CH's best and most quintessential work here). 9/10

4) Temple of Low Men (Some of CH's absolute greatest here, although widely inconsistent for me). 8/10

5) Dreamers are Waiting (Feels really new and fresh, and feels more like a new age for the band rather than trying to recreate former years). 8/10

6) Time on Earth (Probably the weaker of the two reunion albums in comparison to DAW, I feel it suffers slightly from being originally a Neil solo album). 7/10

7) Intriguer (What could have been a superb album is drowned in poor production and overly mellow melodies). 6/10

8) Crowded House (Far too 80s at this point, every song feels the same with a few exceptions). 5/10

It's going to take me a couple years to really place Dreamers Are Waiting. Nothing will ever top the original four albums for me, but where does it place among the rest?

DAW is more consistent than TOE but I think TOE had more standout tracks. "Nobody Wants To," "Don't Stop Now," "Pour Le Monde," "Silent House," "She Called Up," "Transit Lounge," and even the b-side "Lost Island." So many incredible songs that have withstood the test of time. So for me it's currently a toss up between DAW and TOE.

Is it better than Intriguer? Yes.

And Afterglow never really registered as an album for me. It's a compilation so I don't rank it.

I can’t rank Dreamers Are Waiting after only living with it for less than a week.

At this point in time, and after maybe a dozen listens, I agree with @Paināporo that DAW is very consistent and that it is better than Intriguer.

Other than that, there don’t seem to be any real, real highs or lows for me.  Nothing is jumping out at me yet saying “This is great, a real Finn classic!”, and nothing is jumping out as something I dislike either.  The singles, which I mostly did not like before hearing the whole album, sound much better to me with the other songs around them.  Although, other than Playing With Fire, I think the singles are among the weakest songs.

Overall, I’m enjoying it.  It’s very good, although I’m not sure if it’s great.  I’m wondering if I’m drawn to the overall sound and production more than I’m drawn to the songs themselves.  

It keeps that Out of Silence rebound going for me. Finn has really found that sweet veteran zone (a bit like Jeff Tweedy in recent years) and I now welcome the new band additions and appreciate the contemporary ear and wise OoS-y approach to Neil’s ageing voice. Sounds very CH authentic and nicely albumy. Better than Intriguer and about equal with s/t (which I have warmed to in recent years). Pretty rapt with it personally, think it will ultimately settle like this:


Had to revisit this post ( I knew I’d replied a while back); 4 years later here are my thoughts:

1. Woodface

2. Together Alone

3. Time On Earth

4. Temple Of Low Men

5. Dreamers Are Waiting

5. Crowded House

6. Intriguer

7. Afterglow

If we were to compare Deluxe Reissues with all the amazing extra music, I have a feeling my list would look very different.

Also, am I the only one wishing (very hard) for a deluxe version of DAW with additional b-sides, live tracks, liner notes and more of Nick’s artwork?

This list changes every week, depending on where I am and how I am, but for now my preferences go something like this:

1.  Together Alone *****

Still the masterpiece for me, after all these years.  From the opening guitar notes of Kare Kare, sounding like a lonely coastal bird’s call, to the log drumming outro of the title track that out-Moanas Moana, this is an astonishingly rich and consistent tapestry of sound that evokes the land and seascapes of Aotearoa like no other.  And Neil’s song-writing never quite topped Distant Sun or Pineapple Head, both of which still hit me in the solar plexus.

2.  Temple of the Low Men ****1/2

The first time I realized Neil wasn’t just a very good songwriter.  He had no peer at this point.  Into Temptation was perfection, lyrically and musically, in its mix of uneasiness and exaltation. So was Love This Life.  And the band are simply swinging when the production allows us to hear them as the tight live unit they were in Sister Madly.  Half a point off for one layer too much 80s production in the otherwise sublime When You Come.

3.  Dreamers Are Waiting ****

This album has only got better with every listen.  Bad Times Good, with its delicate guitars and harmonies over that fractured tempo, sounds the album’s “finding out wherever there is pain there is comfort” pandemic keynote.  The textures on this album are better than anything since TA, and although there aren’t as many hummable classics, the songwriting is very good.  Start of Something, To the Island, and Playing with Fire are also pandemic-zeitgeist gems that feel like gifts from Neil’s inner Chairman. Point off for the truly horrible Real Life Woman.

4.  Time on Earth ****

There have been few more compelling and engaging musical snapshots of grief than this album.  I lost my sister just before Time on Earth came out; it helped me grieve like nothing else could.  So even as this album powerfully mourns the loss of Paul, it connects in a more universal way.  Nobody Wants To, A Sigh, English Trees, People Are Like Suns all still make me weep uncontrollably — but in a way that always promises healing too.  It’s an inconsistent album, however, thanks to the added post-solo album band sessions; both Even A Child and Transit Lounge feel anomalous.  

5.  Afterglow ***1/2

How can a band’s cast-offs include songs as outrageously sublime as You Can Touch (the sexiest song Neil ever wrote, better even than When You Come) and Help is Coming?  

6.  Woodface ***1/2

An album of excellent parts that are better than the whole.  So many classic tunes here, but somehow the album as a whole doesn’t add up; it manages to have something of the disjointedness of a greatest hits collection.  Four Seasons in One Day is up there with Distant Sun and Into Temptation as one of Neil’s most heart-achingly beautiful songs.  But I’ve never felt the love for Fall at Your Feet that so many have — it’s always sounded to me like two nice but incomplete songs tacked together, and that’s the album for me in a nutshell.  Special mention to She Goes On, the greatest forgotten love song Crowded House wrote.

7.  Crowded House **

Apart from That Song That Changed Everything (and, to a certain extent, its follow-up single), most songs here sound dated, production-wise and compositionally.  A transitional record by Crowded Enz.

8.  Intriguer *

What a disappointment.  The songs played on the road sounded so raw and promising.  In the studio, they became overcooked and flavourless.  I can’t listen to any of it now.

Last edited by Watney Sideburns

These days I rank the Crowded House albums by how often I would go back to them and perhaps amend the playlist...

- Intriguer - I put this at top because, after the end of listening to it, I feel happy inside. I used to skip Saturday Sun and Inside Out but now days I enjoy this whole album. The tracks I would play repetitively are Amsterdam, Falling Dove and Even if)

- Temple of Low Men - I enjoy the dark/ mature themes, especially Never be the same and Love this life. In fact, the B side for me is just wonderful. On the A side on the other hand, When you come and Into Temptation are my least favourites.

- Together Alone - I used to rank this album a the top. Perhaps it will go up there again. I feel I need to be in a certain mood/mindset to listen to this craft work. For a few of those songs I prefer live (Fingers of love, Private Universe, Locked out, Pineapple Head the main ones).

- Afterglow - "You can Touch"! Wow!! I also thoroughly enjoy Recurring Dream, Time Immemorial, Anyone can tell and Help is coming. The rest I don't skip, they're nice songs but I wouldn't play them repetitively.

Self Titled and Woodface - the two most commercial albums. Some years ago I really really love pop music and songs like Weather with You, Only Natural, Fall at your feet, Mean to Me, World where you live would be my favourites. But now taste has changed to more rock/art songs instead. I do love Hole in the river, Whispers and Moans, How will you go and Love you til the day I die.

Time on Earth - this album has some great songs, but it's just too sombre for me. If I put the CD in the CD player I would use the program to select only particular songs... so least favourite.

Dreamers are Waiting is for me N/A.

PS and maybe next month Together Alone might be first or second on my list.

Had to revisit this post ( I knew I’d replied a while back); 4 years later here are my thoughts:

If we were to compare Deluxe Reissues with all the amazing extra music, I have a feeling my list would look very different.

Also, am I the only one wishing (very hard) for a deluxe version of DAW with additional b-sides, live tracks, liner notes and more of Nick’s artwork?

No, Brando, you are NOT the only one that wants a deluxe DAW! Love what we got but somehow feel there is more out there, as the pandemic seems to have put Neil (and Tim!) in a very creative place. However, I feel he may be holding back some of what the new lineup did for a quick follow-up (not that that would be a bad thing).

The deluxe reissues just gave so much depth to each album, and I feel the new one would seem incomplete without the same treatment. Just spoiled, I guess! I would be content to let this one cook for a while, so to speak, if we could get deluxe reissues of the brothers albums, and maybe eventually, the Neil solos.

This seems likes fun.

1. Time On Earth - This is easily my top Crowded House album and top album in general lyrically (I'll get to that in a bit). If I'm going to an album when I'm feeling down, it's usually gonna be this. There's no songs which get too involved, and sometimes that's what makes a song great. There aren't any songs which I would skip over, either. Sure, they may not all be my all time favorites, but I enjoy all of them every time I hear them. Each song flows nicely into the next (even from the end back to the beginning), and all of them hold some meaning to me. The writing of the songs, though, is my favorite part of this album. I could make a giant list of each song and the great lyrics in them, though my favorite lyric from here, and from anywhere, would be from Heaven That I'm Making: "If there is hell on earth, there must be heaven too. Both in one place, and not a second to lose." A solid 10/10 album for me.

2. Together Alone - If we were ranking each individual song, most of Together Alone would be above Time on Earth. And yet, I still place it below, for two reasons. First off is Skin Feeling, which has always felt completely out of place to me from the rest, and every time I hear it, it just makes me feel off. And secondly, the overall cohesiveness of the album. One of the things I said I loved about Time on Earth is every song felt like it should lead into the next. Here, while all of the songs are amazing, it doesn't feel like there's a story being told throughout (and Skin Feeling doesn't contribute to that at all). Outside of those things, though, I love Together Alone. The songs are pretty much all amazing (outside of the aforementioned one), the feel of the album is great, and it makes sense that there were so many singles from here.

3. Dreamers Are Waiting - While not as amazing as the other two, Dreamers is an album I love. The singles didn't show off what this album was really containing. Bad Times Good, Too Good For This World, Show Me The Way... There's a ton of great songs, and like Time on Earth, there is some of that cohesiveness (though still not as good as it is there). The new sounds of Liam & Elroy are definitely noticeable, and this was a nice way to show what this new lineup brings in. Hoping I can hear some of these songs live.

4. Intriguer - Intriguer is an interesting album. There are amazing songs like Twice If You're Lucky and Even If, and then not-so-great ones like Inside Out and Falling Dove. There's a lack in consistency, and it annoys me, because there are songs which I love from here. Falling Dove & Isolation could've very well have been great songs if those ending portions were cut out (which, fortunately, Neil did in his Fangradio versions of Isolation, even if being in isolation now I can understand that feeling). Inside Out doesn't even really have a redeeming part to it, it's just there. But then there's songs like Twice If You're Lucky, which is yet another of my favorites lyrically (and instrumentally), and some quirkier ones like Amsterdam which I can't fully explain why I like as much as I do. Either Side of the World accomplished what Falling Dove and Isolation were trying to do perfectly, with a shift in the song not being too drastic and still sounding like it belongs in the song. Elephants is a song which still confuses me to this day, though it is a great ending one.

5. Temple of Low Men - Not one I remembered too well, though after listening to it a few times, it is a nice one. Better Be Home Soon is the perfect ending track, Into Temptation & I Feel Possessed are both great, and the rest is... there. I don't feel one way or the other about it. The Fangradio version of this album is really nice, though, and I'd probably put this higher if I was ranking based on those.

6. Crowded House - I feel about this one similarly to Temple of Low Men, there are standouts and then there's the rest. It's only a little lower because overall I like less of them. And like Temple of Low Men, the Fangradio versions of this album are great, and I would put this higher if I was ranking on those.

7. Woodface - Four Seasons In One Day is a fantastic song. Fall At Your Feet and Weather With You are both great. Whispers and Moans is great when live. I like All I Ask (contrary to popular opinion, it seems). I don't think Tall Trees belongs on any Finn album, but I don't think it was a bad song. And then the rest I just am not a big fan of. It's like the first Finn Brothers album for me in that there are great ones and then the others just exist. The biggest issue for me on the album is How Will You Go, though. I love the song, and I think it's a great end to the album. Unfortunately, though, the album doesn't stop there. After 30 seconds of silence, I'm Still Here comes on, and after the beauty of How Will You Go, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Seeing as I usually have my music on in the background, and like to play full albums, I don't want to have to go in every 45 minutes to skip it at the end of the album. Like the other 2 above this, it's not a bad album, but it has 3-4 more songs and not enough standout ones to make up for that for me.

All of this is just my opinion, but this seemed like a fun thing to do. Afterglow isn't one I can really rank (seeing as the songs come from different eras, I can't really rank it as a full album), but the acoustic Private Universe there is my notable standout from there, alongside Lester and Help Is Coming.

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