Limited two CD Australian tour edition of the 2007 reunion album from Neil Finn and his housemates includes a bonus CD that features 11 live tracks from their recent North American tour, including old and new Crowded class... more »ics. The CD features the long-awaited album produced by Ethan Johns [Kings Of Leon, Ray LaMontagne] and Steve Lillywhite [U2, Morrissey]. 14 tracks including the first single 'Don't Stop Now' and 'Even A Child'. ATO.« less
Limited two CD Australian tour edition of the 2007 reunion album from Neil Finn and his housemates includes a bonus CD that features 11 live tracks from their recent North American tour, including old and new Crowded classics. The CD features the long-awaited album produced by Ethan Johns [Kings Of Leon, Ray LaMontagne] and Steve Lillywhite [U2, Morrissey]. 14 tracks including the first single 'Don't Stop Now' and 'Even A Child'. ATO.
Time on Earth-Thoughtful look at mortality, those we love a
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 07/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First up, I'd suggest listening to the samples provided here to see if this terrific Crowded House album is going to be for you. It doesn't sound like anything Neil's done with the band before (although it does recall "Temple of Low Men" and "Together Alone" in terms of its mood). Fans will love this album which builds subtly, over many listens. It is worming its way into my list top albums for this year. Neil is reflective on the changes in his life. Some of the tunes on here are some of the most catchy of his career. He also co-writes a tune with former Smith Johnny Marr (the chiming "Even a Child")and one with The Dixie Chicks. Neil continues to be one of the finest songwriters of his generation and he won't let down fans with this release either.
One thing that Neil Finn never does is make the same album twice. Crowded House fans will find that "Time on Earth" grows on you and isn't as instantly memorable as "Woodface" but is equally as powerful and memorable. In fact, this album reminds me more of the follow up to the band's popular "Woodface" album, "Together Alone"; the melodies are touched with melancholy. You can't help but feel that the death of Paul Hester (the band's original drummer, occasional songwriter and friend of Neil's since the end of Split Enz), middle age and changes in Neil's personal life informed this terrific album. As always, Neil demonstrates a knack for writing memorable melodies and thoughtful, deeply felt lyrics that rank among the best out there. Neil's more experimental solo albums have also impacted this album as well (they departed from the "formula" of Crowded House)and since this was, initially, going to be a solo album it's not a surprise that this album's low key charm and musically adventurous touches are in line with what was on Neil's most recent pair of solo recordings.
Nevertheless, this IS a Crowded House album and brims with all the wit, songwriting skill and hooks that Neil and his band are known for. In fact one of the most interesting aspects of this album is the collison between the "style" that Neil established on his solo albums, the pair he made with his brother Tim and the Crowded House sound. It reinvigorates the album making it a unique and enjoyable follow up to "Together Alone" (the band's last full studio album. I'm not counting "Afterglow" since it was made up of b-sides and tracks that weren't used for the original version of "Woodface").
For those interested there is an import with a DVD of live performances. Also, the first single has two songs not included here plus some live tracks as well. Unfortunately the deluxe edition with the DVD hasn't been released in the United States as of this date.
Worth picking up.
Time on Earth Don't Stop Now Together Alone Woodface Try Whistling This One Nil "
Haunting and Brilliant
Vinzo | Boston, MA United States | 07/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Time on Earth is a masterpiece. Not as immediately accessible as the earlier Crowded House ablums, this one has so many very special moments. There is so much "home" to the new Crowded House. I continue to be amazed at what a great songwriter Neil Finn is. He allows his beautiful voice to show the pain he has suffered with the loss of Paul Hester. Listen to the gorgeous "Pour Le Monde" and "People are Like Suns", they are stunning and haunting lyrically, musically and vocally. Also, the background vocals throughout this album are remarkable and beautifully realized.
This is one of those albums which will be recognized as a classic many years from now. It is the Abbey Road for Crowded House (the Beatle reference is intentional). Great songs, gorgeous vocals, beautiful production, great band. Time on Earth is the album of the year and may be Neil Finn's masterpiece. Yes, it is that good."
Welcome Back Crowdies
Justin L. Cash | Melbourne, Australia | 07/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This new Crowded House effort is simply wonderful. But, if you're after instant gratification, then this album is not for you. It is impossible to comment on this CD before at least half a dozen listens. It is darker and heavier than previous Crowded House sets and Paul Hester's presence is everywhere. While it may not have the same level of energy as you'd expect from typical Crowded House fare, it nevertheless has moments of pure Neil Finn genius. She Called Up is the closest thing to the boppy Crowded House of yesterday, reminiscent of Something So Strong. In part, Time On Earth does resemble one of Neil Finn's solo projects, but this is only logical because this CD began as Finn's next solo work until the suggestion of reforming Crowded House was raised. There are aspects of every part of Finn's career on this CD, with hints of Split Enz, reminders of the Crowded House we used to love (and now love again) and both his own work and that with brother Tim, as well. On first listen, you'll probably only like two or three tracks, but after half a dozen listens you won't be able to put it down. There's something to enjoy about nearly every track on this CD. The uptempo pop of the Crowded House of the 80s and 90s still exists on Time on Earth, the gorgeous ballads are haunting, the brooding rock of Silent House (co-written with The Dixie Chicks) fantastic, and the melodies, just beautiful. To all those doubters out there, you didn't really think one of the greatest songwriters of our generation would let us down, did you?"
More of the Excellence You've Come To Expect
Kevin Caffrey | Fredericksburg, VA | 07/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I heard in 2006 that Neil Finn's planned next solo album was going to be a Crowed House album, I was a little disappointed. Owning CH albums, Split Enz albums, and the two Finn Brothers albums, I ultimately find Neil Finn's solo material (_Try Whistling This_ & _One Nil_) to be his best work. However, since this is Neil Finn we're talking about--easily one of pop music's best songwriters--regardless of what name was going to be on the album, it would likely be up to par with his previous work. However, stacked up against such phenomenal post-CH work, _Time on Earth_ does ultimately dissapoint a little bit.
Lyrically, the suicide of original drummer Paul Hester looms over nearly the entire album. From the beautiful opener "Nobody Wants To" to the Split Enz-like "She Called Up" to the plaintive "Silent House," Neil Finn is clearly mourning within this material. The first half of the album is just as good as anything Crowded House has done, with "Pour Le Monde" being another stunning, melancholy work of songwriting genius that fans have come to expect from Finn ("he imagines the world/as the angel ascending/like the ghost of a man/who is tied up to the chair/and he tries to believe/that his life has a meaning/with his hand on his heart"). Co-written by Johnny Marr, "Even A Child" is pure pop rock CH at its best. About midway through the album, the momentum slows down a bit. "Heaven That I'm Making," sounds like something that might've made it onto _One Nil_, and while it slinks along at a comfortable pace, it fails to make much of an impression. It is then followed by the pretty, but again, slightly lackluster "A Sigh." Along with "Silent House," "A Sigh" sounds like something more from the "Rain" movie score that Finn was involved with a few years ago than a CH or Finn album--very subtle, low-key, lo-fi offerings. "English Trees" continues the pretty, plaintive, reflective mood that dominates the middle of the album before jumping back into the upbeat, mysterious "She Walked Her Way Down" ("and i know what the answer is/but i'm happy to be here tonight/and when you're in the moment/everything you want is right"). "Transit Lounge" sounds like the experimental side of Neil Finn' solo work and is one of the best, freshest sounding songs on the album. Closing out the album are two more low-key and subtle songs--"You Are The One To Make Me Cry" and "People Are Like Suns." The former is one of the most beautiful pieces that Neil Finn has ever written. It's slow, seductive, melencholy, haunting--at times, it sounds like Finn is crooning the song in a dimly lit lounge full with cigarette smoke, and at other times, it sounds like he is literally on the verge of tears. Closers on albums that Finn is involved with--"Together Alone," "Addicted," "Into The Sunset," "Gentle Hum"--are usually breathtakingly beautiful. "People Are Like Suns" does not match the heights achieved by those songs, but it comes close, ending the album with the "appreciate every moment" theme that is displayed on this CH album in the wake of Paul Hester's death: "better take all the love that you got in a single hand...." People are like suns..."they come and they go...."
_Time On Earth_ is another great album to add to your Crowded House collection. It's a far more subtle offering than _Woodface_ or _Together Alone_, but it rewards the listener more and more with repeated listenings. Fans of Finn's prior work will not be disappointed."
A Mansion In The Slums
MORTEN AASTAD | Oslo Norway | 09/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With 'Time on Earth' we see the return of a band, hailed by those who know a good song. Criminally underrated in their day, Crowded House sprang out of Neil Finn's time with big brother Tim Finn's Split Enz. When this band came to it's end, he brough drummer Paul Hester and new bass player Nick Seymour, to the US and the final result back in the mid 80's was Crowded House. Over the course of 4 albums, they brought us fantastic songs, wonderful lyrics, and pure quality, the likes we are not likely to see or hear often in the future of the music industry.
However, after a strained stint with brother Tim Finn on Crowded House, Paul Hesters moods became more and more difficult to handle, and while Hester left on his own accord, this left Finn feeling like the band had run it's course, and he disbanded it in 1996 after a wonderful farewell consert on the steps of the Sydney Operahouse. Finn would go on to record two fine solo albums, and a wonderful Finn Brothers album with brother Finn.
While touring with his brother Tim in 2004/05 Paul Hester commited suicide back in Melbourne. This event, along with the 10th aniversary DVD release of Farewell to the World, got Neil and Nick back together. It even drew in journeyman Mark Hart. Neil asked Nick to play on his new solo album in late 2006. It was during these recordings Neil felt like this was indeed like old times, and desided to resurrect Crowded House.
A few phonecalls later and Mark Hart was on board again, and after holding sessions, a new drummer was on board as well.
The resulting, and eagerly awaited, album is this, 'Time on Earth'.
At first a quite sombre afair, it might seem less 'right now' and more 'maybe later' than previous efforts. but listen intently right away, and you will find great pop songs that hit you right away, none more so that 'She Called Up'. But here are also deeply felt tremours like 'People Are Like Suns' recalling departed drummer Paul Hester. There are also those heavy pop songs, reminding us of the course the band had on their previous record, Together Alone. I'm thinking of 'Heaven that I'm making' in particular. And, to remind us of what he did during his experimantal 'One All' period, there is the wonderful 'Transit Lounge'.
This album demands it's audience to make an effort, but its reward far outweighs any first impressions. I think this is easily the best record anyone has made this year. It goes pretty much without saying really. We are dealing with a record made by Neil Finn after all.
I challenge anyone to come up with anyone, living or dead, who can match this man and his body of work."