One of the best (yet underappreciated) bands to come out of the ‘80s was Crowded House. Most Americans only know them for the classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and perhaps “Something So Strong.” But after four albums and eight years, the band disbanded around 1995. A reunion seemed unlikely after the suicide of drummer Paul Hester. Yet after a 14-year hiatus, lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Finn reformed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour, keyboardist/guitarist Mark Hart and new drummer Matt Sherrod in 2007 for their reflective Time on Earth album.
Turns out the reunion wasn’t short-lived. Intriguer picks up where Crowded House left off two years ago, only a little less somber this time. I say “little” because it’s still not the super melodic pop/rock (often compared to The Beatles and Squeeze) that once characterized this band in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It’s much closer in spirit to Finn’s solo work of the least 15 years: dark, perplexing, and a little brooding, yet still captivating with his word imagery and increasingly maturing melodies.