Crowded House: Intriguer

Crowded House: Intriguer
For most people, thinking about Crowded House evokes only one memory: “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. The 1987 song was the Australian band’s biggest hit. The song has been used on numerous TV shows from Miami Vice to Degrassi: The Next Generation. But for fans of the band, they know there is a lot more to Neil Finn and company than one cheesy 80s hit. Intriguer is the band’s second album since reuniting in 2006 and their sixth album overall.
For those interested in Intriguer in hopes to relive some 80s memory will be sadly disappointed. Much like music, Crowded House has evolved over time. There are no massively reverbed ballads on Intriguer, but there are a fair amount of ballads.
I might even go so far as to call Intriguer ballad-heavy. The album certainly does not contain any balls-to-the-wall rock tracks, but that’s not exactly what one would expect from Crowded House. The album’s lead single and opening track “Saturday Sun” is probably the most upbeat song the album offers. The track starts with a drive drum line filled in with some computerized bleeps before the fuzzed out bass kicks in. Trance-like keyboards come-in and set the dream pathos behind Neil Finn’s vocals. The chorus is a little more rock oriented with some buzzsaw slide guitar adding some punch. The track delivers the perfect jolt an album’s opening track should but sadly it is the only time the Crowdies exhibit such enthusiasm.
For the most part the album is happy to be mired in mid-tempo ballads. I grew tired of the mid-tempo ballad by the middle of the album, luckily some unexpected turns like “Inside Out”‘s screeching guitar solo outro kept things a little bit interesting. For me, not a regular listener to Crowded House, I found the album disappointing but for those who love Neil Finn’s ballad stylings, I’m sure there is plenty to like on Intriguer.
Rating: 6.3/10
MP3: Crowded House “Saturday Sun”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!