'Temple of low men' seems sometimes to be a reaction to the global success of their self-titled first album. Because of this, Neil Finn's material seems to go into a lot of dark (but beautiful), places. Take 'Into Temptation' for example, possibly one of the finest CH songs ever, is fairly self-explanatory but full of all kinds of interesting imagery ('the cradle is soft and warm', 'into the wide open arms of hell'). There's also interesting commentary on working yourself into the ground on 'Mansion in the slums' ('You laugh at yourself while he's breathing down your neck').
However all this doesn't mean Neil Finn somehow forgot to write the same kind of soaring anthems as 'Don't Dream it's Over'. Opener 'I feel possessed' is delicately funky and funny, while 'Love this Life' is an unabashed celebration of making the most of what you got, and is all the better for the interesting bits of melancholy that are shot through it. 'Never be the same' is also in a similar vein ('And we might still survive, and rise above the flame'), while 'Sister Madly' expels the obvious influence the beatles have had on Neil as a songwriter. Closer 'Better Be Home Soon' is one of CH's simplest songs, but also one of their best and a great closing track.
Overall this was an interesting follow up to Crowded House's first album, that rewards a bit of exploration that might not appear on first listens. Definitely a grower.
on 7 June 2004
this album is possibly the greatest creation by any musician at any time anywhere!!!
neil finn's brooding and obsessive song writing reaches his best right here!!! there is just song after song on this album that strikes chords in everyone's heart. we've all been through what finn, hester and seymour sing, from troubled, heart-wrenching relationships to knowing a partner is cheating on you, to your true snobbish dreams and those annoying people you hate but really you love.
this album although recorded in 1988, still speaks to my contemporary ears. its not as polished as woodface, but that is where its charms lie. it is a really honest and heart-wrenching journey. fantastic stuff!
please buy this record, listen to Crowded House's finest hour, their peak!
on 1 August 2000
This, like every other Crowded House album, is a fantastic collection of beautiful songs. Each with the trademark Neil Finn perfect melody and sometimes sad, sometimes funny lyrics.
Into temptation in particular is one of the best things they've ever written.
I challenge anyone to play this record and not end up with a wide smile on their face. Perfect Pop.
on 2 January 2004
"Woodface" was the muliti million selling album that made the Crowdies a chart topping act, but it is the previous CD that has all the power & passion.
Woodface has the singles, the nice tunes (if I hear Weather With You one more bleedin time!).....but Temple of Low Men doesn't get lost in commercial awareness like it's follow up. Woodface is "over produced". ...low men.... hits the right balance between production values and a more intimate feel that the Crowdies are so good at.
Don't expect the albim to be a barrell of laughs from start to finish, but who cares when the quality of music is this good? - Into Temptation & Better Be Home Soon are classic anthems and there are some classic lyrics - "Id much rather have a trampoline in my front room than an ocilliation tank...".
The best Crowdies album.
on 9 July 2010
Played this album earlier tonight from start to finish, and had almost forgotten just what a great cd it is. This is the one that really turned me on to Crowded House and, in an already outstanding back catalogue, there is only 'Together Alone' that comes close. C.H. are not just a ballads band, and tracks such as 'I Feel Possessed' 'Kill Eye' and 'In The Lowlands' prove they can rock with the best.
Absolutely an undiscovered, undisputed masterpiece.
on 13 February 2008
This was the album that brought me to Crowded House,and it's brilliance hasn't dimmed with time.The music is darker than people expect,but is much better for it.It contains alot of their best music,such as Into Temptation,Love This Life and the under-rated Mansion In The Slums.
Having seen them at Wembley recently,i don't think there's any reason why they won't reach these heights again.
I think Together Alone and Time On Earth are great albums,with tracks as good as what appear on Temple Of Low Men,but this is just perfect.
So if you have to pick a Crowded House CD this is where to start.
on 26 July 2004
I've loved Crowded House for years and I even lost this album so I have brought it again. It's great pop! catchy melodies and lyrics that will make you think. With classics like Into Temptation and Better Be Home Soon, you'll be singing along in now time. Great!
on 11 September 2002
"Temple Of Low Men", Crowded House's second album is definetly one of their darkest albums along with "Together Alone".
I love this album because there are some great songs and some unusual songs especially in the case of "Sister Madly".
Like the first album, every song is really good but one of the biggest highlights is "Love This Life" which is gorgeously written and sung by Neil Finn. Other great songs from the album include "Never Be The Same" and "In The Lowlands".
A really enjoyable second album from Crowded House.
on 10 January 2014
Croweded House's second album hits the perfect balance between the quirkiness of the debut album and the cloying radio-friendly over-production of Woodface.
It isn't hyperbole to say that this is a masterpiece - there isn't a single below-par track and taken as a whole is possibly the finest pop album I've heard.
on 17 May 2006
I remember hearing Better Be Home Soon, the first single, the first time many years ago. It was a very nice song but surely not a contender of being a major hit. There had to be other songs lined up being hit singles, this one being merely an introduction to their new album? The reality was, however, that Temple Of Low Men barely has a single radio friendly song. The song closest to it, Never Be The Same got some airplay on Rock oriented radio stations but was mysteriously never released as a single.
Unlike their first self titled album, which was full of catchy pop tunes and a glossy production, Temple Of Low Men consist mainly of darker tunes. This is not to say that they are not catchy, they simply do not provide necessary radio fodder to sell. Not being an established major act, the album thus became a major commercial flop. Artistically, however, Temple was a break through proving that Don't Dream It's Over was not simply some sort of luck. I Feel Possessed starts the album and signals a much richer production than before, with Neil Finn content of showing a dark side in a similar fashion of Sting's Every Breathe You Take. The rest of Temple is in a similar vein, thoughtful lyrics, catchy tunes and an imaginative production, very clean but yet mostly without the glossy 80s feel that ruined many recordings of that era.
Temple may not be the most joyful records around but it is a fantastic grower that is still worth listening to today. With hindsight, this was a hint of what lay around the corner with Woodface, which combined the best qualities of Crowded House's first two releases and later Together Alone, creating an alchemy of what they had previously done, taking that one step further by making a masterpiece.