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Crowded House - Dreamers Are Waiting (Album Review)

Monday, 21 June 2021 Written by Simon Ramsay

Your toes could be on fire, an army of lice could have colonised your scalp, a civilisation-ending space rock could be headed straight for earth, yet if you’re listening to ‘Dreamers Are Waiting,’ Crowded House’s first album in over 10 years, everything will feel just fine. Medicinal music with the power to rejuvenate, it’s a beautiful, almost ornamentally gorgeous, record full of sentiments and sounds that will flood your darker days with light.

Although lovingly finessed during the pandemic, this long overdue comeback was predominantly crafted prior to Covid and, as such, isn't a lockdown album. That said, such forward-looking, outgoing and communally-minded songs, which touch on everything from creating and prolonging special moments to finding solace away from harsh realities, will definitely put a hand on your shoulder after a year of confusion, isolation and fear.

Not that ‘Dreamers Are Waiting’ is one of those quick fix affairs that instantly knocks you off your feet. The radiant Whatever You Want, with its perky groove and immediately memorable chorus, will undoubtedly steal hearts as soon as it playfully springs from the speakers, but this is ultimately one of those records that gets better with repeated listens.

Now boasting Neil Finn’s sons Liam and Elroy on guitar and drums, alongside founding member and ever-impressive bassist Nick Seymour, as well as producer turned full-time band member Mitchell Froom on keys, this superb incarnation of Crowded House have created an aesthetic that’s both effortless and organic at the same time.

From the psychedelic haziness of To The Island and Playing With Fire’s baroque-pop regalism, to the Latin-flavoured prayer Bad Times Good and brooding Lennon-esque romancer Real Life Woman, the ensemble serves up a rich feast of atmospheric, textural flavours and colourful instrumental flourishes that never feel overcooked.

While the album may lack some of the group’s trademark quirky and rambunctious numbers a la Chocolate Cake, the all-singing quintet easily make up for that in other areas. In particular, their dazzling combination of consistently magical melodies, delivered in stunning five part harmony, are a treat to behold. Gifting the sublimely rendered hooks on Too Good For This World, Show Me The Way and Goodnight Everyone a profound depth of feeling, it’s a reminder just how powerfully moving the marriage of exquisite vocals and intensely tuneful refrains can be. 

Some have suggested this is a modern sounding Crowded House record but, if anything, it’s as fresh as it is timeless, with elements of Britpop and soul comfortably coalescing alongside otherworldly folk and heartfelt, slow-burn balladry. Although the band’s previous two albums this century certainly weren’t duds, the class of this record, in tandem with the escapist spell it casts, makes ‘Dreamers Are Waiting’ their finest effort since 1993’s ‘Together Alone’.

Crowded House Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu July 01 2021 - MANCHESTER Castlefield Bowl
Sat June 04 2022 - LONDON Roundhouse
Sun June 05 2022 - LONDON Roundhouse
Tue June 07 2022 - LONDON Roundhouse
Wed June 08 2022 - LONDON Roundhouse
Fri June 10 2022 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Sat June 11 2022 - SCARBOROUGH Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Mon June 13 2022 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Tue June 14 2022 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Mon June 27 2022 - CORK Live At The Marquee
Tue June 28 2022 - LIMERICK King John's Castle
Wed June 29 2022 - DUBLIN Trinity College
Thu June 30 2022 - MANCHESTER Castlefield Bowl

Compare & Buy Crowded House Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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