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Time On Earth

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iTunes Review

The 2005 suicide of Crowded House drummer Paul Hester virtually guaranteed that the first new Crowded House studio album in more than a decade would feel the aftershocks, and that songwriter Neil Finn’s senses would be overwhelmed with somber tones and forlorn musings where once a light step and pop twinkle led the way. “She Called Up” and the Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr co-write “Even a Child” maintain an upbeat glow with Finn’s trademark carnivalesque arrangements — aided by producers Ethan Johns and Steve Lillywhite and not the band’s usual studio conspirator Mitchell Froom — but these moments are the exception. Much of the material sports a cautious hesitancy, a haunting sense that things aren’t quite what they seem and that a day of reckoning waits sooner than later. “Nobody Wants To,” “Pour Le Monde,” “Say That Again,” and especially “Silent House,” a co-write with the Dixie Chicks, and “You Are the One to Make Me Cry” brood more like a moody singer-songwriter than an effervescent popsterman, making this group collaboration feel more like a Neil Finn solo album than his actual solo albums: the personal pain is inescapable even if beautifully wrought. 

Customer Reviews

A Great Band... still

I always have high expectations from any recording in which Neil Finn is involved, but I'm totally blown away by the melodic hooks, energy, and fresh atmosphere of this new Crowded House recording. Neil Finn wrote some of the most enduring pop songs of the 80s and 90s, but I think Time on Earth may contain some of his best songs yet. The recording is also rich in texture and emotion. Crowded House is back and better than before.

Great album - takes a few listens to appreciate

"Time on Earth" is "a grower", but is fantastic. Although I enjoyed the Finn Brothers recent "Everyone is Here", the album seemed to lack the depth and craftsmanship perceived after repeated listens in Neil Finn's solo work and Crowded House records. "Time on Earth" however is excellent and gets better and better with each listen. Neil Finn's songwriting is strong - thoughtful and unpredictable. The album has a different feel than previous Crowded House albums and Neil Finn's solo albums. The music is predominantly mid-tempo and introspective - like a mix between "Try Whistling This" and "Temple of Low Men". Although the bouncy, care-free side of Crowded House is almost missing altogether (eg. "Sister Madly", "It's Only Natural", "Italian Plastic"), there are lighter moments (musically if not lyrically) such as "Even a Child", "She Called Up" that balance an album that is inevitably affected and perhaps somewhat inspired by the absence of Paul Hester. Crowded House continues to change with each album, and "Time on Earth" is a great album.

Great as usual!

Over the past 25 years, Neil Finn has been making excellent music and I consider him easily one of the best songwriters of its generation. His songs have always had the power of slowly and subtly getting into you brain and never get out. This comeback from Crowded House is no exception. Great melodies, great lyrics, great arrangements! Yes...I can feel it slowly getting into my brain...

Biography

Formed: July, 1985 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An institution in their homeland, a two-hit wonder in the U.S., and, during the last half of their ten-year career, bona fide stars in the U.K. and most of Europe, Crowded House recorded some of the best pop music of the late '80s and early '90s. Leader Neil Finn's carefully crafted songs, meticulous eye for lyrical detail, and gift for melody are matched by few other songwriters. Crowded House formed in 1985 when Finn dissolved Split Enz rather than carry on after his brother Tim, the group's founding...
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