Crowded House Won't 'Stop' Sparkling Sadly

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/12836050/12836160" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

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.

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

itoggle caption

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.'

Purchase Featured Music

Time on Earth

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Time on Earth
Artist
Crowded House

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.