Temple of Low Men

May 3, 2010 5 Comments

Temple of Low Men

Tags: Music
5 Comments to “Temple of Low Men”
  1. Most of the reviews at the time mentioned that this album was darker than the first. I think it’s an extension of the first album with just as many great songs. Another “perfect album” from beginning to end. I like all the songs here.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Greg says:

    I own several of Neil Finn & Co’s albums, but this is the one I return to time and again. The debut was excellent, but doesn’t quite compare to the haunting melodies and cool chords/textures of this CD. Look at all of the other reviews contained herein, and you’ll hopefully give this brilliant recording a listen. All the songs are great, but standouts include Into Temptation, When You Come, Never Be The Same, In The Lowlands, and. . . heck, they’re ALL great. Trust all these reviewers and buy this masterpiece today. If you like The Police, Sting, Gin Blossoms, Billy Joel, etc (if that makes sense–just think “thinking-man’s pop”), you’ll love this disc.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. This is where my love of Crowded House really began. I enjoyed their first album, but when I heard this I was awestruck be Neil Finn’s songwriting. He’s also a damn good guitarist and employs that good ole mellotron in ways different from the progressive rock bands of the 70′s. There was more experimentation going on here than on the first album. The songs are generally longer and some feature some odd time signatures and changes. It’s hard to point out standout cuts here as they are all so well structured. I guess if I have to do that I’d have to say “I feel Possessed”, the Lennon/McCartney influenced “Kill Eye” and “Mansion In The Slums”. “Into Temptation” would probably be my favorite as far as merging poetic lyrics with a haunting melody. I also own the “Woodface” CD. It’s a fine album, but this is hands down their best. Neil Finn may not exactly be a household name here in the U. S. but the fact that so many people are covering his songs today is a testament to his genius. I highly recomend this disc
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Anonymous says:

    If I were stranded on a desert island, this is the disc I’d want to be stranded with. Everything about it is perfect. Standout tracks are When You Come, Into Temptation, Sister Madly, and Better Be Home Soon. Each is a classic pop song that will be admired for years to come. Elvis Costello recently wrote that he wishes he’d written Into Temptation, and he certainly knows a good pop song when he sees one!Neil Finn is a genius.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Hello again people. It’s the pompous Seer that you know so well who is back to reviewing considerable music to explore. I was on vacation. Spent some time on the Gulf of Mexico. What a time! After almost killing myself with those jet skis, I became sedate (and also quite a sight) lounging on the beach-sunglasses, white beard flowing, with a constant supply of tropical drinks courtesy of the hotel. Sounds nice huh? I won’t even discuss the amount of money I spent tipping the busboy. I am saddened that we can’t use spirituality instead of money. If that were so, Metamorpho would be a very rich Seer. Ah well.
    Chance (my guide that looks like Robert DeNiro but without the scowl) bet me that I could not write a cohesive review about Crowded House. So I cut my vacation early and flew back home to write this for my adoring public.
    To start, let me say that I have all of Crowded House’s C. D. s and ALL are excellent in the pop genre. That said, there is something about Temple of Low Men that I find intriguing over and over again. To make sense of this, I asked my guides exactly what it was? But to no avail. I suppose the lure of a roulette table takes precedence over true reflective. Also, age is not a positive factor in my favor. I never thought I’d careen into another generation gap. The slights of life.
    Anyway- Neil Finn’s compositional talents are very considerable and noteworthy. In some way there are a number of topics going on here- possession,rejection,redemption,isolation and the attempt at true communication and connection. All done in a sometimes confusing stream of conciousness. But no matter – the thought bubbles that emanate from Neil Finn’s mind are indeed crowded and when they are released we are exposed to amazing bits of songwriting. Even though this is the pop genre, Neil’s compositions are anything but matter-of-fact. He throws chords and changes in here that are incredible and unique. And the talent and the production make you wish you had 6 ears instead of 2.
    The album begins with “I Feel Possessed” and the swirling and beckoning musical backdrop perfectly fits the alluring and dream-like state that Neil finds himself in. It is a giving in to an uncontrollable quest that constantly eludes us.
    “Kill Eye” is disturbing and rough. The emotions in this are at war. The subject, although destructive and possessed, still has underlined goodness that cannot be expressed. We then move from the roughness to “Into Temptation”, a lilting, subtle and sad song. We know that the subject here has many regrets over his failures and that he feels guilty by being possessed by temptation. Great lines here, “the guilty get no sleep, in the last slow hours of morning, experience is cheap,I should have listened to the warning”. Neil’s expressions with words are a joy to behold.
    “Mansion in the Slums” is one of Metamorpho’s favorites. A puzzling tune for sure. It is the isolation that comes by being rich as opposed to the connections by being poor. As he states, he’d rather have the best of both worlds. Neil does not want to only have the option of one or the other. A struggle for personal freedom. With “When You Come” is a double-entendre of sorts. An exploding, sensual attack of love from the earth and the heavens. Pay attention to Neil’s poetry and how the music builds to a crescendo. Absolutely remarkable.
    “Never Be the Same” and “Love this Life” are a perfect duo of songs. They both concentrate on survival after failure. In “Never Be the Same” he urges everyone to not stand around, like friends at a funeral. That suffering is always personal. However, the subjects “might still survive, and rise up through the maze” all the while knowing that things could never be the same after what they went through. The music on this is pure pop pleasure juxtaposed against difficult emotions. “Love this Life”, on the other hand, proceeds on a calmer scale. It is the resolution that even though disaster may strike, we are alive, and the experience of the pleasure and the pain, are still a worthy measure of being human.
    “Sister Madly” is a jaunty little shuffle about about, paradoxically, a steam-roller of a woman. It is a disconnect and the disconnection comes from how she treats people. She knows what she’s doing, and is guided by another type of obsession/possession. “In the Lowlands” is a troubled state of affairs and, again, the music matches this urgency. Neil finds himself to be too late to fix the situation and his relationship and his desire will transform to fear. The music mirrors the situation and the lyrics, again, wax poetic and vital.
    “Better Be Home Soon” seems simple enough, however, it too is about possession, about something that has a hold. The emotions within his love are pushing him away. Yet, he holds the key and is right for the first time in his life. Again, the lack of communication is a theme here, and, although he can go on without her, she runs the risk of getting back home too late. This is the best song on the album, in my opinion, and, in many respects, home is where the heart is.
    In conclusion, I have come to “feel possessed” (and obssessed) about the music here. It is a wonder-and very well worth your consideration. Hope I did a somewhat half-decent job. I hope everyone’s summer is filled with sun and joy. Now, listen to Metamorpho -you’ll be glad. Again- I would not lead you down a false path and make you drink poisoned Kool-Aid. Catch the real drift (see my other reviews). Now, back to the beach. Yours in eternal light——-Metamorpho (Morphy)

    Rating: 5 / 5

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