I could spend the next 10 minutes building a compelling case why you, the reader, should go out of your way to listen to this particular band and voice. I could even go on a rampage, a vicious rant attacking the current music industry and how the proper artists and genuine talents are constantly lost in between the lazy and commercial stayers. Maybe I should focus on how this particular song and that particular album has changed my life, how it pulled me out of an ever darkening pit and helped me find peace again. But I won’t, because really who cares? So instead like any decent reviewer I’ll simply provide an honest opinion on whether this album is good or not.
Recommend this product?
So on that note, is Neil Finn’s Crowded House’s debut album a worthwhile experience? Well yes it is, if you like 80s pop rock that is. The 80s pop rock scene can sometimes have a bit of a bewildering effect now-a-days. I mean seriously what were some of them thinking? But as in every era there are some diamonds in the rough, and Crowded House is a brilliant piece of bling.
Most of you might not know this, but you’ve probably heard a Crowded House song, even one from this specific album. ‘Don’t Dream Its Over’ is a prime example of a brilliant name-less hit, like a Beatles song that was never written, a rock anthem with an instantly recognizable chorus featuring a brilliant ‘Hey Now, Hey Nowww’ chant that will surely have most listener breathing a sigh of recognition as they slowly start to be pulled in by Finn’s rough but enjoyable vocal performance.
Crowded House’s debut album is their most straightforward album in their entire catalogue, and also the most consistent. Most of the tracks are up-tempo pop rock numbers and they generally follow the verse – bridge – chorus – verse structure. Lyrically, Finn is a god among his peers, and even though his songwriting truly blossoms on later releases (Together Alone and Solo album One Nil), on the band’s debut album we find Finn at his most humorous and melodic. ‘World Where You Live’ is a prime example, a soaring rock song, with one hell of a sing-a-long chorus, and lyrics that deal with a particularly ‘loud’ neighbor that used to keep Finn awake during the lonely nights.
‘Hole in the River’ could, should, but probably isn’t the best song on the album, but it demonstrates a darker more subtle side to the band, which will be shown in full force on the follow up album and in later releases. Built around a beautiful instrumental mid-section, were a trumpet, piano and acoustic guitar are intertwined to create an up-tempo but not up-beat vibe, words of loss and death slowly creep up on the listener.
From ‘Mean to Me’s acoustic intro to its smart and catchy chorus, were the meaning of ‘Mean’ is constantly being changed, to ‘Can’t Carry On’s synth filled introduction and loud Beatles-esque chorus and ‘That’s What I Call Love’s long acoustic outro, Crowded House’s 1986 release has something for anybody, especially for those looking for a piece of nostalgia that doesn’t make them cringe in embarrassment of once enjoying this particular scene.