Everyone knows Crowded House’s biggest hits, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and ‘Weather With You.’ But did you know that every so often, the band reforms and releases a new album? Recently, after having to postpone their European tour (for a second time) and performing some classic songs from their homes to perk us up during the pandemic, they released their 7th studio album. I think it’s great that the band are still going, the core being Neil Finn as chief songwriter, and bassist (and album cover artist) Nick Seymour. The other members this time around are Mitchell Froom, and Neil’s sons Liam and Elroy. It’s 10 years since the previous Crowded House album, Intriguer.
Dreamers Are Waiting is a grower – the best kind of album, don’t you agree? If an album is instantly catchy, you can get bored of it quickly. The singles, ‘Whatever You Want’, ‘To the Island’ and ‘Playing with Fire’ are the strongest tracks and are all quite memorable. It will take me several listens to be able to remember the album tracks. ‘Show Me the Way’ stands out as something a bit different and was written by Liam. The sound is generally upbeat, mellow and confident. The lyrics seem to me more political than previously and show some evidence of what 2020 was like. The variation in tone is appealing, as some of the songs are serious and earnest, while others are playful.
It’s fashionable to complain that the output of bands who have been around for a few decades is never as good as their old stuff. I’m not sure it’s a debate worth having, as musicians, like the rest of us, change as they mature and they’re obviously not going to re-make albums from their peak of popularity. This goes for any kind of artist. It’s more important that they’re true to themselves and make the art they want to.
In summary, Dreamers Are Waiting is a welcome return from Crowded House. It’s the only album released this year that I’ve actually bought this year.