Crowded House – Intriguer
June 11, 2010
Crowded House who may have delivered the best album of the 90s with “Woodface” made a big comeback in 2007 with “Time On Earth”. Where that album was a bit self-conscious and didn’t really seem to characterize what people were expecting from Crowded House, the new album “Intriguer” is surprisingly comfortable.
It sounds current, but it also sounds like vintage Crowded House. Sadly we are missing Paul Hester, and Tim Finn has a leaf of absence as well, but still, Neil Finn has always pretty much been the driving force behind Crowded House. His honest and thoughtful songwriting is the basis of the band’s success.
A true songwriter he writes from the heart and writes songs with lyrics and melodies that not only sound good, but songs that actually matter. That’s why the listeners can connect to it. I was missing that on “Time On Earth”, it was too grand, if you will. On “Intriguer” the songs are well-accessible and they draw you in like the songs used to do.
The opener Saturday Sun, which was also the lead single for the album holds the middle between tracks off “Woodface” and songs from Finn’s time in Split Enz. And upon multiple listens, the avid Crowded House fans will find more similarities between songs on “Intriguer” and work from earlier periods. Where some songs have a Split Enz character, some songs tend to lean more towards “Woodface” (Twice If You’re Lucky and Inside Out) and songs like Falling Dove and Elephants would not have misstood on “Temple of Low Men”.
But lets not dwell in the past. The “Intriguer” album is out now and in many aspects it sounds like vintage Crowded House and it’s presented in a well-balanced and well-produced package that gives way for Finn’s songwriting to come to full bloom. All the pieces seem to fall together and nothing has to stand in the way of Crowded House making a glorious return to the international pop stage.