NPR logo Crowded House Won't 'Stop' Sparkling Sadly

Crowded House Won't 'Stop' Sparkling Sadly

'Don't Stop Now' by Crowded House

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Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Don't Stop Now"
  • Artist: Crowded House
  • CD: Time on Earth
  • Genre: Pop

An air of regret often hangs over Crowded House's bittersweet reunion album. hide caption

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Though its career as a hit-maker dried up shortly after its 1986 debut, Crowded House continued to churn out glorious power-pop singles through the early '90s, following the Top 10 gems "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong" with a sturdy string of tracks that deftly balance briskness and melancholy. The decade that followed the band's 1996 breakup wasn't terribly kind: New Zealand-born singer Neil Finn's solo career didn't duplicate Crowded House's success, and former drummer Paul Hester committed suicide in 2005.

Unsurprisingly, an air of regret often hangs over the group's bittersweet reunion album, Time on Earth, which eulogizes Hester amid an assortment of songs that sparkle more ruefully than ever before. Still, "Don't Stop Now" more than lives up to the worthy tradition of such lesser-known Crowded House gems as 1991's "It's Only Natural" and 1993's "Distant Sun."

For all its brisk, brightly glowing hooks, "Don't Stop Now" is no throwaway, as Finn searches for inspiration ("Give me something I can write about") when he's not clinging to any emotional investment he can find ("Give me something I can cry about"). It's a poignant return to form for a band whose comeback warrants celebration, even as Finn seems to be searching in vain for the meaning behind it.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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