Listening to the acoustic Fangradio version of To The Island now - there’s a really good song under there.
Thom, I thought the same thing. I was a little under-impressed with the studio version. Like "Whatever You Want," I thought, "This is a good Neil Finn side project song, but it just doesn't have the Crowded House magic."
But the acoustic version on Fangradio feels MUCH more like true Crowded House, which makes me think its the production and arrangement that make the studio version feel less like CH and more like one of Neil's other projects.
So, the question is...
Has Neil released these two songs *because* they're a little different, and he wants to surprise us and maybe grab some modern radio airplay/streamplay?
My hope is that the album reveals a classic ballad or two as well as a rocker or two, but more than that, I just want melodic, well-written tunes that have that classic CH magic. (For the record, I don't think the magic was exclusive to the pre-breakup version of the band. "Don't Stop Now," for instance, really plays to the band's strengths.)
My fear is that these two songs are actually quite representative of the overall record, meaning we're getting 10 more songs like this. Hmm.
I recently stumbled upon a podcast called Political Beats. Normally, I'd have ignored it based on the title, but I was searching for CH-related episodes, and episode 78 of their podcast showed up.
The three hosts spend over two hours discussing their favorite Crowded House songs and albums. It's fascinating because all three of them discovered CH after the band's commercial peak, so they have a much different perspective. For instance, they seemed to generally feel that the reunion albums stand nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with the first four records. At the end of the episode, they each picked their five favorite CH songs. It was interesting to see their choices, which didn't always fall in line with what I see here on frenz.
Anyway, hearing them talk about the band's entire catalog reminded me once again just how strong the band's records are. The hosts repeatedly stated that, unlike most bands, CH hasn't made a bad album.
That's an incredible legacy, really. So, calling this new band "Crowded House" invites comparisons to the band's previous work. And it creates the expectation that this new material somehow fits into that band legacy we all know and love.
I genuinely hope that's the case.