- 11 Jun 21
Another Win From The House Of Finn
There are many reasons of late to be jealous of the good people of New Zealand and not the least of those is the fact that Crowded House – one of the greatest singles bands ever invented – toured there this year, playing proper people-standing-beside-each-other-grinning shows. The House were back on the boards to promote this, their first album since 2010’s Intriguer, and the first – but hopefully not the last – from the new line-up which includes producer Mitchell Froom, who worked the desk on previous triumphs like Temple Of Low Men and Woodface, and Neil Finn’s sons, Liam and Elroy.
Maybe it’s the influence of this new blood, but Dreamers Are Waiting finds these (mostly) Antipodeans doing what they do best; melodic guitar pop that others would gladly offer up their first born to be capable of. What about the chorus of ‘Playing With Fire’ before the gorgeous bah, bah, bah backing vocals come in with the horn section? Or the lovely ‘To The Island’ which also sports a quality vocal arrangement, a choral breakdown, and another killer chorus that is stuck in the frontal lobe after one hearing? Is Finn calling on us all to decamp to that land of the Kiwi? Where do I pick up my ticket?
Not convinced yet? Try handsome Nick Seymour’s bass line behind ‘Whatever You Want’, a song with a hook that even the most cloth eared cow juice delivery person could not sully with off-kilter whistling as they meandered up the garden path. As I'm singing Seymour's praises - and pontificating about hooks - let me tell you that he also does a passable impression of Peter Hook behind 'Love Isn't Hard At All' - a Crowded House song title that was waiting to happen - just because he can. Even when this record takes a slightly melancholic turn, as on 'Goodnight Everyone' or 'Real Life Woman', the grooves still seem to be full of sunshine, the kind of stuff that just makes you feel better.
Every track here is a winner, with marvellous flourishes like the entirety of ‘Show Me The Way’, the ascending choruses of ‘Too Good For This World’ and the heavenly ‘Start Of Something’, or the gentle closer, reaching out for love ‘Deeper Down’. You could hardly say that any of their previous records were short on the backing vocals but they seem to have doubled down here, perhaps again due to the new recruits. Several of the tracks break down to beautiful near a cappella passages as they pull more and more melodic twists from their seemingly inexhaustible supply closet. If you want, as the rolling, wave-like opening track offers, to make ‘Bad Times Good’ then Crowded House are still the men to call. The House always wins.