George Starostin's Reviews



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Jerry S. <> (06.09.2002)

This album, and Talk Talk's It's My Life are two albums from way back when that I just can't seem to get enough of. The funny thing about this one is that I never liked Crowded House until a couple years ago. Maybe it has something to do with their choice of singles. "Don't Dream It's Over" was one of those songs that try to fit too many words into the melody, which reminded me of Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch" -- that in itself would be enough to scare me away. And while the Squeeze-like "Something So Strong" is just about perfect, their next single that had any airplay in the States was "Chocolate Cake", which at the time seemed a little odd. Anyway, better late than never. Mitchell Froom was still an unknown, & hadn't yet overindulged himself. I think the clean production still holds up well. You mention Neil screaming his head off in "Love You Till The Day I Die". With the crashing percussion and weird guitar & keyboard fills I think he's going for that off-kilter, slightly schizophrenic effect here, as well as on "Mean to Me" (great song!). Kind of a Roger Daltry without the menace. My favorite might be "Can't Carry On", which is driven by the rhythm section, and Neil gives a great vocal performance.

Steve Potocin <> (30.11.2002)

Crowded House was the 2nd best pure POP record of the 80s [Behind Marshall Crenshaws debut record from 80] Neil Finn always had the prettiest well written songs on those Splint Enz records, and looks like he saved a bunch of them for his new groups debut. The next record was almost as good!


Steve Potocin <> (04.12.2002)

This is a great record, I think I like their first just a bit more because it's "Happier", wow thats a pretty bad reason. Has there been a better song about guilt after cheap sex than 'Into Temptation', wait , has there ever been any song about that? Man I miss these guys.

John Schlegel <> (03.01.2004)

Yes, yes, YES. This album is great, and not everyone regards it as such. True, the hooks aren't very pronounced, but this stuff IS catchy, I think largely because of these wonderful arrangements. I completely get caught up in the interplay of the loud drums, warm bass, jangling guitars and buzzing organs. "Mansion in the Slums" doesn't have a melody, but it sure has a groove, accompanied by ear-catching lyrics, and THAT'S why the song is catchy. Indeed, this album was immaculately produced. And goshdarnit, that Neil Finn has some talent as a composer. And as a singer. And lyricist . . . you get the picture. For me, this album draws comparisons to Squeeze, mostly because Finn's voice reminds me of Glenn Tilbrook, but also because this stuff sounds like the dark, experimental music Squeeze recorded on the fabulous 'East Side Story'. Many of the songs are excellent, for reasons I already mentioned (arrangements, grooves, thoughtful singing). "Kill Eye" kicks ass; maybe the best song, or maybe it's the swingin' "Sister Madly." "I Feel Possessed" and "Love This Life" are fine, poppy anthems. "Into Temptation" is affecting, and "Better Be Home Soon" is simply a gorgeous acoustic guitar-based ballad. Probably Crowded House's best album, and an underrated, forgotten classic from a dreary time in pop music history.


Arnoud van Vliet <> (08.04.2004)

Actually this album got me into the whole Crowded House/Split Enz thing, as it was played on a collegue's car stereo for a week during a course. So good memories about this album for me personally.

I guess it's all what you look for. Yes, it is pure pop, but hey, this is an art form on its own. It's not as soulless as you think, and the harmonies are actually good. It is just that it is still a Neil Finn-dominated album. The later Finn album that Neil and Tim Finn did later will probably also not appease you, but it is not as slick, it is funny and too short for my liking.

Well, the 10 is a bit low for an album of pure joy. Don't worry, be happy :-)

Nicholas Waller <> (10.04.2004)

I agree with your colleagues/correspondents that "Four Seasons in One Day" is the best song on Woodface; a moody, flowing tune with evocative lyrics and a good song for listening to while staring out of a rain-spattered window in November in the throes of some confusing romance.


Mark Corbett <> (21.07.2004)

Neil Finn at his absolute best. On this album the band seem to find the sound which worked perfectly - dreamy melodies with just a hint of psychedelia. 'Fingers of Love', 'Nails in my Feet', and 'Catherine Wheels' are spine tingling in their emotion.

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