Neil Finn's first album after his Split Enz days is one that, despite the fact that it has dated from being produced in the late-80's, is still a great collection of wonderful pop tunes. Neil's group Crowded House was responsible for some of the best post-Beatles pop, and one can see the beginnings of that here. With songs like "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Hole in the River" Finn shows his knack for melding McCartney-quality melodies with a Lennon-ish flair for words. The group's sound, though, is a little brighter and more jangle-popish than it would be in later releases.
The group would later build on the foundation laid forth in this album in the terrific follow up albums Temple of Low Men and Woodface. This is not a bad place to start getting into the group, though, because this album has Crowded House's most well-known songs.
Highlights? "Don't Dream It's Over", the House's best known song (ask anyone and they can sing you the "hey now, hey now" chorus, whether they know who sang it or not) and one of the 10 best of the 80s; "Something so Strong", a glorious straightahead pop song, also known as Crowded House's other US hit; and "World Where You Live", a template for Neil Finn's light/dark songwriting style.
All in all, a strong debut for a group that more people should discover. And if I ever hear you call this group a "two-hit
wonder", I'll puke.