Pop & Rock

This Is No Flashback


My wife and I have an ongoing conversation about the fine line bands must walk between evolution and stagnation. The members of Crowded House travel comfortably in that sweet spot on their Fantasy debut Intriguer, which hearkens to their '80s, folk-influenced alternative sound while displaying artistic growth with unique arrangements and production.

They've had a lot of time to hone that sound. They gigged and recorded steadily through 1996 when they decided to take a hiatus. It would be 14 years before Crowded House reunited and returned to the studio to record a few songs for 2007's Time On Earth. On Intriguer, Crowded House offers up the pathos and melodies for which they are known on songs such as the opener "Saturday Sun" and the moody "Amsterdam."

But, Crowded House is by no means beholden to the '80s. The rich instrumental layers on song such as "Archer's Arrows" and dynamic production (led by Wilco producer Jim Scott) provides a thoroughly modern filter, making the entire set both current and timeless.

The Deluxe Edition of Intriguer includes a DVD with studio and live footage as well as the music video for the aforementioned "Saturday Sun." Crowded House is on tour now. They're stunning live, so check them out if you can.

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