sun 25/07/2021

Album: Crowded House - Dreamers Are Waiting | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Crowded House - Dreamers Are Waiting

Album: Crowded House - Dreamers Are Waiting

A strong return for the newly expanded quintet

Putting the band back together: Crowded House

More than three decades after their acclaimed, self-titled debut, Crowded House has grown from a trio to a quintet.

In addition to the group’s lead singer, main songwriter and founding member, Neil Finn, the current incarnation of the band includes co-founder and bassist Nick Seymour, keyboardist (and former Crowded House producer) Mitchell Froom, plus Finn’s sons Liam on guitar/vocals and Elroy on drums.

The band’s seventh studio album – their first since 2010's Intriguer – is aptly titled. Whether it’s the nearly orchestral scope of some of the writing, the circuitous nature of certain song structures, or the subtle allusions to Bowie, The Beatles and more, there’s something intangibly dream-like when you enter into its sound-world.  

Album opener “Bad Times Good” is a case in point, an earworm which plays metrical tricks by seamlessly switching back and forth from 5/4 to 6/4 time. “Playing With Fire” offers a telling disconnect, combining music of the utmost cheeriness with lyrics which suggest that all might not be well (“Lately I’ve been lying frozen in my bed, feeling like the end isn’t far away”). The ghostly 30-second coda adds to the disorienting effect.

The inordinately catchy “To The Island” hints at an unnamed idyll which offers respite from a broken world (“But oh the island is just right, it’s the perfect size”), one of several pandemic references which are stitched into the fabric of the record. With its subliminal looping samples, celestial vocal harmonies and surprising harmonic shifts, “Show Me The Way” is a standout. Bathed in a generous reverb, the album reaches its most euphoric point with “Love Isn’t Hard At All”, while “Deeper Down” must be a strong contender for this year’s perfect three-minute pop song.

@MrPeterQuinn 

Album opener “Bad Times Good” is an earworm which plays metrical tricks

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