May 3, 2010 5 Comments

Amazon. comThe unreleased residue of popular recording careers is typically the stuff of box-set “extra” discs and sometimes suspicious reissue “bonus tracks. ” Even the Beatles’ vaunted Anthology series argued that serving up leftovers as a main course is a risky proposition at best. Afterglow, a collection of 13 surplus tracks from New Zealand popmeisters Crowded House, fares better than most such efforts, if only because of the old-fashioned dedication to songcraft that Neil Finn and. . . More >>


Tags: Music
5 Comments to “Afterglow”
  1. Alex Green says:

    Far be it from me to tell you what to buy. . . . but this CD is soooo essential. A collection of b-sides, rarities etc can often leave a bloated feeling, but the Crowdies collection just leave. . well, an afterglow. OK, for those of us who bought the singles, a lot of the stuff is in our collection. But would you want people to be deprived of a song like ‘I Am In Love’ with it’s heart-wrenching harmonies? How about ‘Lester’. . . a tale of Neil’s dog and a near miss with a vehicle (trust me on this one!). On first listening ‘I Love You Dawn’ can seem a bit too personal but it grows into an oh-so-sweet-bless-him kinda moment. ‘Recurring Dream’ remains my favourite summertime song. And they transport you to imaginary tropical islands with ‘Private Universe’. ‘Sacred Cow’ is classic ‘Woodface’ era and one wonders why it was never on it. And for those who hanker after a Split Enz-y sound – the nearest you’ll get is ‘Left Hand’ which hits the spot. All in all, a great collection you’ll wish you’d got sooner.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. C. B. Gurney says:

    When I first listened to this, I had to agree that it is not quite up to the standard set by other Crowded House CDs. But these tunes stick in your head and grow on you. It just shows what a phenomenal musician Neil Finn is. This is not the best CH collection to start with, but if you are a fan, you will not be disappointed. Great price, too.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. “Afterglow” is a collection of outtakes, alternate versions and oddities recorded by Crowded House during 1985-94. Very often such collections come out uneven and pale compared to the artists’ regular releases. For me this was not the case with this 1999 release, which not have hits like “Don’t Dream it’s Over” or “Weather With You”, but still shows strong and consistent playing and writing.

    When the band split up in 1996 they left behind them an unfinished album and a great number of other unreleased recordings. When you listen to this album it’s big wonder why so many of these songs never made to the album, but fortunately the songs work really well as a whole in this context. Of course some songs stand out from the rest; for me especially the alternate version of “Private Universe”, which is softer and spacier and without the distorted guitars of the “Together Alone” version.

    “Anyone Can Tell” is a catchy commercial type of song that might have made it to the charts. Songs like “I Am Alone” and Sacred Cow” are more of the same melodic vein.

    Also the John Lennon inspired “I Love You Dawn” and the waltzy folky closing-track “Time Immemorial” stand out.

    All but one song, Paul Hester’s charming “My Telly’s Gone Bung” were written by Neil Finn.

    A surprisingly consistent album.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. C. Neises says:

    I am very pleased with this CD. It is full of the reasons that caused all of us fans to become fans in the first place. I have been a CH fan since their debut CD came out when I was in high school, and this disc is very reminiscent of that era. Enjoy!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. This collection of tracks (left off other albums) leads off with the almost ethereal synth & guitar, accented by subtle tom-tom drumming of “I Am In Love. ” Typically beautifully-crafted melodic pop with Neil’s enigmatic lyrics. This is a surprisingly strong Crowded House collection, considering the history behind each number. . . In the bonus interview Neil admits still not knowing what “Sacred Cow” is all about. Hey, thats o. k. with me. . . the number is upbeat and boppy enough to negate the need for lyrical lucidity (it is a little weird. )Other strong cuts include the overlooked, “Dr. Livingston,” a rather dark little critique of missionary efforts in Africa, and the affirmation of “Anyone Can Tell”. . . But what makes it really worth the price of the disc is to hear the crystalline acoustic version on “Private Universe” echoing and reverberating between my ears, before my eyes. “Its a treasure that I have gained. “Yeah, this is definitely a worthy collection of “orphans and strays. ”
    Rating: 4 / 5

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