Jun 18, 2021
By Hays Davis
Dreamers Are Waiting, the first album from Crowded House since 2010’s Intriguer, finds the band freshly crowded with a new lineup and a batch of songs that reflect the band’s maturity, both lyrically and musically.
A new Crowded House lineup came together in 2020, two years after singer/guitarist Neil Finn joined Fleetwood Mac. Finn, along with co-founder/bassist Nick Seymour, added Finn’s sons Liam Finn (guitar, keyboards) and Elroy Finn (drums, guitar), who had both served as touring members. Mitchell Froom, who produced the band’s first three albums as well as Dreamers Are Waiting, is now also Crowded House’s keyboardist.
The band successfully works with a variety of musical approaches. “Bad Times Good” begins the album with a sound that’s lush with acoustic guitars, light percussion, waves of backing vocals, and some winning melodic twists. “How could anyone put that sugar in their mouth?” Finn sings of a life of extremes that is ultimately left wanting in “Sweet Tooth,” a song that strips down to a more basic rock sound. “How could anyone put that madness in your heart?”
A longing for a couple’s paradise is at the center of “To the Island.” “The world is beyond us/It’s too enormous/But on the island it’s just right/It’s the perfect size,” the band sings, while Finn’s desperate voice calls out in the background: “Let’s not get into a fight.”
The upbeat shuffle of “Goodnight Everyone” glances back on a life with countless miles and fondly remembered acquaintances in its rearview mirror, while taking stock in the present. “Goodnight everyone/I’m all done with fame/Cos I’m always on guard/Always on parade/Never seen again.”
If some listeners don’t feel quite the immediacy that connected them with some of Crowded House’s early material, Dreamers Are Waiting is an album that rewards with multiple plays as a whole. It may also move those same listeners that Crowded House is producing such fine work more than 30 years since their debut. (www.crowdedhouse.com)
Author rating: 7/10
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