James Oberacker | Los Alamitos, CA USA | 08/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful songs, engaging and intelligent lyrics, and melodies you'll find yourself humming hours after hearing the songs. As "greatest hits" collections go, this is one of the best - packed from start to finish with great music. My wife and I spent two weeks driving through Crowded House's home country of New Zealand a few years back, and for most of the trip, this was THE album we listened to. It just kept finding its way back into the player.Besides the well known hit songs ("Don't Dream It's Over," "Somthing So Strong), some of the tracks which stand out as brilliant include "Weather With You," "World Where You Live," "Fall at Your Feet," "Private Universe," and "Mean to Me." These just happen to be my favorites. Sure, some of the 19 songs on this CD are "better" than others - but none are sub-par. There are no fillers.If you're debating whether or not to spend your hard earned $$ on this CD, think of all the albums you've paid ... for - just to get one or maybe two decent songs. With "Recurring Dream," you'll get 19 songs that you'll actually want to listen to again! Not a bad deal."
Perfectly balanced smart-pop with a side of Beatles
Scott Sweet | Colorado Springs, CO | 05/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As other reviewers have stated, Crowded House WAS underrated. The easygoing vocals are reminiscent of Paul Carrack. (Who? He sang "The Living Years" with Mike and The Mechanics.) The music is mellow and varied, but the two main weapons of this band were Neil Finn's lyrics and the harmonies ("Weather With You," case in point). These tunes harken to the lessons of Paul McCartney. They stick in my head not because they're annoying, but because they're GOOD.Access all the track samples above; it's better than me taking up more space. See what I mean? Nearly all of these songs should have cracked the top 100 on U.S. college radio. (Top 40 was pretty much a mass grave even back then.) The aboriginal groove on "Private Universe" has a "Graceland"-era Paul Simon appeal. In some songs, the words convey a cautionary tale. In others, they're flat-out love letters. In EVERY song, the words tell a satisfying story."Something So Strong" and "Mean To Me" prove that the guys could rock; they just did so sparingly. Other tracks betray the influence of the Beatles ("Into Temptation," "Not The Girl You Think You Are," "Four Seasons In One Day," "Everything Is Good For You.")At least they made a dent with "Don't Dream It's Over." Still, this band stands the test of time. They didn't blaze across the sky, but they've always hung well above the horizon."
"Don't Dream", buy this album!
desert_rose01 | 08/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Best-of' compilations are really attempts by record companies to get a few more bucks out of a waning or defunct music act. These albums should be called "the singles of (insert name here) to attract people who enjoyed their songs on radio with some new ones so that diehard fans will buy it too"-a title to rival Fiona Apple's last album. There are times (albeit few) when a best-of compilation is worth the price. Take Crowded House, for example. They had a huge hit back in the eighties with "Don't Dream It's Over", then were doomed into one-hit wonder land. It's a real shame, considering that Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House is full of nineteen well-crafted (even classic) songs. The band took an unique approach to Recurring Dream. The song which gave the album its title is no where to be found. The obligatory filler songs ("Not The Girl You Think You Are", "Instinct" and "Everything Is Good For You") are mixed around with sixteen other singles that span the band's career. The album starts out with "Weather With You", a feel-good pop tune featuring the impeccable harmonies of Neil and Tim Finn. Tim Finn, formerly of Split Enz, also contributes his songwriting and harmonizing skills to "Four Seasons In One Day" and "It's Only Natural". The remainder of the album shows off Neil Finn's incredibly underrated talent as a singer/songwriter. He sings ballads ("Better Be Home Soon"), rocks out ("Mean To Me") and creates songs that will stay in your head for days ("World Where You Live"), just like any other good songwriter would. For the majority of their career, Crowded House recorded in Los Angeles with producer Mitchell Froom. However, the highlight of Recurring Dream, "Distant Sun", comes from the band's New Zealand sessions with Youth (one producer of The Verve's "Urban Hymns"). The instrumentation, singing and lyrics blend smoothly together to create a perfect pop song. When you can listen to every song on an album and can't tell when it was made, you know it's a good one. That's what Recurring Dream is like."
Jimbob | London, UK | 04/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recurring Dream is a satisfying, if slightly cut-and-paste collection of Crowded House's finest moments. It pains me to see no listing for Together Alone in Amazon's lists, the band's most rounded album. It's from this album that the best songs come, the gentle Pineapple Head, the ravishing Private Universe and the heartbreaking Distant Sun...no Nails In My Feet though, a glaring omission. Don't Dream It's Over remains a classic and the cuts from Woodface show off the Finn's songwriting at it's strongest. If you're new to Crowded House this is an excellent starter but seek out Together Alone to make your collection complete."
Haunting songs That Linger WithYou...
Michael Mcgrath | macondo | 02/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After repeated listenings, the album lingered hauntingly in my mind, like any great film or book...in fact if I were to take only three CD's to a desert island, this would be one...the other two would be Harrison's Best of Dark Horse and Exitos de Juan Luis Guerra...however, on this exquisite collection, we have "Weather With You" which winds along with great harmonies....another beautiful track is "Fall At Your Feet"...and then there is the hit song"Don't Dream It's Over"...I personaly love "Pineapple Head" which sounds Beatlesque with a Pacific Tropic feel..."Distant Sun" deserves repeated play to apppreciate.....as do many other tunes...there are three tunes here not found on the other Crowded House LP's and also available for fans is the import edition which carries a bonus disc of live materiel well worth the extra bucks....highly recommmended...."