'Hey it looks like the bear stole the honey from the bees.'
Not an album I would have anticipated would be on my end of year rundown of favourite records but this one definitely will be. That's my failing not Crowded House's. It's not as if they're not a band with a fair pedigree. In some ways perhaps they occupy a space particular to themselves.
So this, Dreamers Are Waiting is their first record since 2010 and a cursory initial listening registers it as good as anything they've ever done. The space that they occupy is being utterly mainstream, they've sold records by the truckload down the years, but also routinely quality. Not many ithers I can honestly say this for.
I don't like all of the record. In many ways the model for Neil Finn, the main man for Crowded House has always been The Beatles. But consistently the McCartney of The Beatles rather than Lennon. He lacks Lennon's acerbic quality, much preferring McCartney's sweetness and classicism. But while McCartney could do Blackbird and Hey Jude, you could also have to endure Ob La Di or Maxwell's Silver Hammer somewhere along the way. Finn has the same occasional tendency for saccharine.
But his strike rate on Dreamers Are Waiting is remarkably high. The band are one of the few I can think of that make cruising down the middle of the highway seem like a great idea. It's great to see the leftfield maverick promise of Split Enz, the band Finn started out with, realised to this degree over so many years.