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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Records

The second big-scale Crowded House compilation -- following the first, Recurring Dream, by 14 years, and the budget-line set Classic Masters by seven - 2010’s The Very Very Best of Crowded House (the second “very” distinguishing it from Recurring Dream, which was merely “The Very Best”) comes in two incarnations: a single CD running a tight 19 tracks, and a digital download that’s expanded to 32 songs. The CD version offers up much of Crowded House’s canon including “Weather with You,” “Something so Strong,” “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” “Four Seasons in One Day,” “It’s Only Natural,” “Better Be Home Soon” and “Mean to Me,” ultimately repeating 14 of Recurring Dream’s 19 songs while finding space for a pair of tunes from the 2007 reunion Time on Earth (“Don’t Stop Now,” “Pour Le Monde”). The three tunes left behind -- “World Where You Live,” “Into Temptation,” “When You Come” -- are all missed but they can be found on the digital edition, along with a clutch of other great songs that help make it the best Crowded House comp so far, verging on the definitive. Naturally, the single disc isn’t as thorough, but it does as good a job of offering the basics as Recurring Dream, and will surely satisfy listeners who don’t believe they need more than a disc of Crowded House. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1991 | Capitol Records

Where Crowded House's previous album, Temple of Low Men, showcased the often dark side of a man alone with his thoughts, Woodface represents the joy of reunion and the freedom of a collaborative effort -- more than half of the album was originally conceived as a Finn Brothers project, which was Tim and Neil's first crack at writing together. The songs are easily their finest to date, combining flawless melodies and the outstanding harmonies of the brothers' perfectly matched voices. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 4, 2021 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

The first Crowded House album in 11 years can be seen as a homecoming of sorts. Standing alongside bassist Nick Seymour as always, Neil Finn welcomes his sons, Liam and Elroy Finn, as official members along with Mitchell Froom. The producer of the first three Crowded House albums is back to helm Dreamers Are Waiting in addition to playing keyboards in the group. This is a fairly dramatic shift from the Crowded House lineup who recorded Intriguer back in 2011, but the results wind up being richly textured and subtle, an album that finds its subdued groove quite early, then proceeds to find variations within it. The emphasis on quiet and space isn't far removed from Lightsleeper, the collaborative record Neil and Liam released in 2018, yet there's a heightened sense of songcraft here that makes the muted guitars, rounded riffs, and waves of keyboards embed tunes into the subconscious. Songwriting has long been a strength of Neil Finn, but the notable thing about Dreamers Are Waiting is how he's spread the songwriting wealth, collaborating with the full band on a couple of tracks, writing with both of his sons as well as his brother Tim, who once was in Crowded House, and also gives Liam a solo spotlight. The communal effort naturally emphasizes the group's communal voice, one that salutes and tweaks classic pop forms in equal measure. Echoes of loneliness float through Dreamers Are Waiting, but this isn't a melancholy album. The melodies are insistent, as are the dampened rhythms, giving this album a warm, palpable heartbeat that can be felt even if the record is all captured in soft focus. It's this gentle, reassuring touch that makes Dreamers Are Waiting a balm, an album that offers familiar comfort even if it doesn't precisely sound like any previous Crowded House record. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 1, 1991 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Where Crowded House's previous album, Temple of Low Men, showcased the often dark side of a man alone with his thoughts, Woodface represents the joy of reunion and the freedom of a collaborative effort -- more than half of the album was originally conceived as a Finn Brothers project, which was Tim and Neil's first crack at writing together. The songs are easily their finest to date, combining flawless melodies and the outstanding harmonies of the brothers' perfectly matched voices. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Records

4 stars out of 5 -- "'Distant Sun' remains the high watermark, a brilliantly layered piece of music simultaneously complex and direct..." © TiVo
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Rock - Released October 11, 1993 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

More experimental and musically varied than any of their previous releases, Together Alone finds Crowded House branching out into traditional Maori music and heavy guitars, as well as the shining pop songcraft that is Neil Finn's trademark. Picking up a new guitarist and adding the production skills of ex-Killing Joke member Youth, Crowded House energize their sound without losing sight of Finn's classic pop songwriting, as "Locked Out" and "Distant Sun" prove. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 1, 1988 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Following the success of Crowded House's debut and the band's grueling promotion schedule, Neil Finn was clearly showing signs that he was no longer happy being New Zealand's zany ambassador to the U.S. While the material on Temple of Low Men demonstrates great leaps in quality over its predecessor, it is a darkly difficult album, especially for those expecting Crowded House, Pt. 2 -- in short, there are no immediately accessible singles. Instead, Finn digs into the depths of his emotional psyche with obsessive detail, crafting a set of intense, personal songs that range from the all-too-intimate look at infidelity of "Into Temptation" to the raucous exorcism of "Kill Eye." Through all of this introspective soul-searching, Finn reveals most of all his true mastery of melody. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Pop - Released June 25, 2007 | Lester Records Ltd

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Rock - Released January 1, 1988 | Capitol Records

Following the success of Crowded House's debut and the band's grueling promotion schedule, Neil Finn was clearly showing signs that he was no longer happy being New Zealand's zany ambassador to the U.S. While the material on Temple of Low Men demonstrates great leaps in quality over its predecessor, it is a darkly difficult album, especially for those expecting Crowded House, Pt. 2 -- in short, there are no immediately accessible singles. Instead, Finn digs into the depths of his emotional psyche with obsessive detail, crafting a set of intense, personal songs that range from the all-too-intimate look at infidelity of "Into Temptation" to the raucous exorcism of "Kill Eye." Through all of this introspective soul-searching, Finn reveals most of all his true mastery of melody. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Records

More experimental and musically varied than any of their previous releases, Together Alone finds Crowded House branching out into traditional Maori music and heavy guitars, as well as the shining pop songcraft that is Neil Finn's trademark. Picking up a new guitarist and adding the production skills of ex-Killing Joke member Youth, Crowded House energize their sound without losing sight of Finn's classic pop songwriting, as "Locked Out" and "Distant Sun" prove. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 1, 1999 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Like any band, Crowded House had some unfinished business after their split. Namely, they had a number of very good songs that never appeared on an official album. These weren't rejects, per se -- they were tunes that didn't have a home, so they popped up on B-sides, soundtracks and live shows, where Crowded House regularly aired unreleased and rare songs. These often became fan favorites yet they weren't readily available until the appearance of the rarities, B-sides, and "orphans" collection, Afterglow. Not every non-LP song made the cut, but everything here is quite strong and the album gels very well, sounding a bit like a lost album, even if the tracks were recorded between 1985 and 1994. Is it an essential collection? Well, for hardcore fans -- the kind that know that with the existence of Afterglow they can now piece together the running order of the original Woodface -- it certainly is. But it's not just for them, since casual fans will find several gems here. Perhaps Paul Hester's endearingly silly "My Telly's Gone Bung" will rub them the wrong way, but such gems as the pre-Crowded House tune "Recurring Dream" and the gorgeous "I Love You Dawn" rank among the group's finest, proving that Neil Finn became an exceptional songsmith during the time he led Crowded House. They, along with several other tunes, mean Afterglow isn't just appealing for Crowded House diehards, but for anyone with a taste for fine, well-crafted pop. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released June 25, 2007 | Lester Records Ltd

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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Records

The second big-scale Crowded House compilation -- following the first, Recurring Dream, by 14 years, and the budget-line set Classic Masters by seven - 2010’s The Very Very Best of Crowded House (the second “very” distinguishing it from Recurring Dream, which was merely “The Very Best”) comes in two incarnations: a single CD running a tight 19 tracks, and a digital download that’s expanded to 32 songs. The CD version offers up much of Crowded House’s canon including “Weather with You,” “Something so Strong,” “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” “Four Seasons in One Day,” “It’s Only Natural,” “Better Be Home Soon” and “Mean to Me,” ultimately repeating 14 of Recurring Dream’s 19 songs while finding space for a pair of tunes from the 2007 reunion Time on Earth (“Don’t Stop Now,” “Pour Le Monde”). The three tunes left behind -- “World Where You Live,” “Into Temptation,” “When You Come” -- are all missed but they can be found on the digital edition, along with a clutch of other great songs that help make it the best Crowded House comp so far, verging on the definitive. Naturally, the single disc isn’t as thorough, but it does as good a job of offering the basics as Recurring Dream, and will surely satisfy listeners who don’t believe they need more than a disc of Crowded House. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Pop - Released January 1, 2000 | Capitol Records

Like any band, Crowded House had some unfinished business after their split. Namely, they had a number of very good songs that never appeared on an official album. These weren't rejects, per se -- they were tunes that didn't have a home, so they popped up on B-sides, soundtracks and live shows, where Crowded House regularly aired unreleased and rare songs. These often became fan favorites yet they weren't readily available until the appearance of the rarities, B-sides, and "orphans" collection, Afterglow. Not every non-LP song made the cut, but everything here is quite strong and the album gels very well, sounding a bit like a lost album, even if the tracks were recorded between 1985 and 1994. Is it an essential collection? Well, for hardcore fans -- the kind that know that with the existence of Afterglow they can now piece together the running order of the original Woodface -- it certainly is. But it's not just for them, since casual fans will find several gems here. Perhaps Paul Hester's endearingly silly "My Telly's Gone Bung" will rub them the wrong way, but such gems as the pre-Crowded House tune "Recurring Dream" and the gorgeous "I Love You Dawn" rank among the group's finest, proving that Neil Finn became an exceptional songsmith during the time he led Crowded House. They, along with several other tunes, mean Afterglow isn't just appealing for Crowded House diehards, but for anyone with a taste for fine, well-crafted pop. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1986 | Capitol Records

Split Enz needed to end, particularly since founding member Tim Finn found his little brother Neil's growth spurt uncomfortable, but also because Neil was no longer writing tunes that made sense within the context of a band that ran the gamut from art rock to eccentric new wave. Neil was now writing songs that were undeniably totems of popcraft, but infused with the spirit and introspection of a singer/songwriter. This formula would later become quite popular with artists from Matthew Sweet to the legions of basement auteurs in the pop underground, but this sensibility was relatively unheard of in the mid-'80s -- hence the birth of Crowded House. Neil retained Paul Hester from Enz, added Nick Seymour for the trio, and recorded one abandoned attempt at an album before joining with Mitchell Froom for the band's eponymous debut. At the time, Froom's clean production seemed refreshing, almost rootsy, compared to the synth pop dominating the mainstream and college scenes at the time, but in retrospect it seems a little overreaching and fussy, particularly in its addition of echo and layers of keyboards during particularly inappropriate moments. But Finn at his best overshadowed this fairly stilted production with his expert songcraft. As it happened, the record was blessed by good timing, and the majestic ballad "Don't Dream It's Over" became an international hit, while its follow-up, the breezy "Something So Strong," also turned into a hit. Both revealed different sides of Finn's talents, with the first being lyrical and the second being effervescent, but perhaps the truest testaments to his talents are "Mean to Me," "World Where You Live," and "Now We're Getting Somewhere," songs where the lyrics meld with the melody in a way that is distinctive, affecting, and personal. If the rest of the record doesn't reach those heights, it's still good, well-constructed pop, and these aforementioned highlights point the way to Temple of Low Men, where Crowded House (and particularly Finn) came into its own. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2016 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Split Enz needed to end, particularly since founding member Tim Finn found his little brother Neil's growth spurt uncomfortable, but also because Neil was no longer writing tunes that made sense within the context of a band that ran the gamut from art rock to eccentric new wave. Neil was now writing songs that were undeniably totems of popcraft, but infused with the spirit and introspection of a singer/songwriter. This formula would later become quite popular with artists from Matthew Sweet to the legions of basement auteurs in the pop underground, but this sensibility was relatively unheard of in the mid-'80s -- hence the birth of Crowded House. Neil retained Paul Hester from Enz, added Nick Seymour for the trio, and recorded one abandoned attempt at an album before joining with Mitchell Froom for the band's eponymous debut. At the time, Froom's clean production seemed refreshing, almost rootsy, compared to the synth pop dominating the mainstream and college scenes at the time, but in retrospect it seems a little overreaching and fussy, particularly in its addition of echo and layers of keyboards during particularly inappropriate moments. But Finn at his best overshadowed this fairly stilted production with his expert songcraft. As it happened, the record was blessed by good timing, and the majestic ballad "Don't Dream It's Over" became an international hit, while its follow-up, the breezy "Something So Strong," also turned into a hit. Both revealed different sides of Finn's talents, with the first being lyrical and the second being effervescent, but perhaps the truest testaments to his talents are "Mean to Me," "World Where You Live," and "Now We're Getting Somewhere," songs where the lyrics meld with the melody in a way that is distinctive, affecting, and personal. If the rest of the record doesn't reach those heights, it's still good, well-constructed pop, and these aforementioned highlights point the way to Temple of Low Men, where Crowded House (and particularly Finn) came into its own. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 17, 2021 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Rock - Released May 13, 2021 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC