Album Review:: Crowded House "Time On Earth"

It’s been a long time coming, but I am totally excited to see the Crowded House brand back on the cover on a new LP. “Time On Earth” (ATO) is the first proper Crowded House LP since 1993’s “Together Alone” (Capitol Records). Is it a logical continuation of the bands previous output of the early/mid ’90’s? Well no, but was it suppose to be? Neil Finn hasn’t stopped making music since the break up of the band in November of 1996. He has released two solo LP’s in “Try Whistling This” (1998), “One Nil/One All”(2001/2002) and a second Finn Brothers LP “Everyone Is Here” (2004). So it goes to say that “Time On Earth” is a fine progression from the music he’s been making for the last 10 years . As Neil Finn has stated in some interviews, the album is a good combination of a Finn solo record and the Crowded House band concept.
“Time On Earth” explores familiar roads Neil Finn has taken in his previous solo outings, but also brings back the ultra melodic tendancies he has showcased with Crowded House. The album opens with a trio of soon-to-be classics: The sweet opening acoustic strums of “Nobody Wants To” helps you remember what you loved so much about the band, while the LP’s first single “Don’t Stop Now” chimes in with another dose of melodic joy – only to be followed by the track “She Called Up” which recalls the bands earlier style circa 1986’s debut LP. Other standouts cuts: the Beatlesque “Pour Le Monde”; The Johnny Marr co-written “Even A Child” with it’s jangly guitar and chorus that might even give a slight nod to The Smiths “There Is A Light”; The beautiful epic like quality of “Silent House”(forget the Dixie Chix co-wrote the song, this is pure Crowded House ca. “Together Alone”); another pretty song in “English Trees”. The album’s 14 tracks present a variety of moods and tempos – a repeat listen is required to gather it all in – it’s not 80’s or 90’s Crowded House but it’s beautiful nonetheless…
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