Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Crowded House

  • Crowded House [Capitol, 1986] C+
  • Temple of Low Men [Capitol, 1988] C
  • Woodface [Capitol, 1991] Choice Cuts
  • Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House [Capitol, 1996] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Crowded House [Capitol, 1986]
Art-pop is like the dB's and XTC, when a fascination with craft spirals up and in until it turns into an aestheticist obsession. Split Enz was an art-rock band gone pop--sillier, crasser, more full of itself--and Neil Finn's California-based trio dispenses only with the silly. Hooks you can buy anywhere these days, and for directness you might as well apply straight to Bruce Hornsby--beyond the occasional hint of guitar anarchy, this is product for sure. C+

Temple of Low Men [Capitol, 1988]
Problem's not that philistine tastemakers are quashing Neil Finn's hit-debut blues, but that Finn has neglected the only thing he has to offer the world: perky hooks. Programmers don't care what he's brooding about because nobody else does. Plenty of popsters have managed to stir up interest in their petty anxieties. Be thankful there isn't one more. C

Woodface [Capitol, 1991]
"Chocolate Cake" Choice Cuts

Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House [Capitol, 1996] Dud