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Intriguer CD

4.1 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jun. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B003H0526W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,196 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

This sixth album from the colossally popular Antipodeans is the follow-up to 2006's Time On Earth and is the first to feature the band's full lineup throughout since 1993's Together Alone. Produced by chief songwriter Neil Finn with Jim Scott, who produced the 7 Worlds Collide sessions, it sees the band introducing new ideas into their classic pop-rock sound. It features the web single "Saturday Sun" and includes contributions from Jon Brion, Lisa Germano and Finn's son Liam.

BBC Review

Intriguer is Crowded House's second album since the suicide of drummer and co-founder Paul Hester in 2005 (and their sixth overall), and follows 2007's well-received comeback LP Time On Earth. Prior to that record's release, 13 years had passed since the band's fourth studio set, 1993's Together Alone.

This set improves upon Time On Earth, too–it's more of a band effort, whereas its predecessor was originally intended as a Neil Finn solo offering. It doesn't mess with the Crowded House formula, although those hoping for the instantly gratifying melodies of catalogue classics like Weather With You will have to dig a little deeper. But this is no bad thing, and singer-songwriter Finn claims to have experimented with new sounds here. Though the album doesn't overwhelm with adventurousness, scattered female harmonies provide relief and the vocoder on lead single Saturday Sun proves a ghostly and effective touch.

Hester's absence still hangs over the band–if not explicitly, then in spirit–as Intriguer continues the sombre mood of its predecessor. The lyrical, Paul Simon-esque folk of Falling Dove is one such example, while the haunting duet of Isolation shyly embraces electronics without sounding forced.

Finn's handling of a tune remains strong and his poetic sense of place, familiar to fans of the band, remains. This resonates in the wistful dreaming of Amsterdam and the joyful atmospherics of Either Side of the World, with its loose samba beat and disco-influenced piano (actually inspired by John Paul Young's Love is in the Air). The subtlety in the strength of material like the radio-friendly Saturday Sun and the gently epic Archer's Arrows bears out the band's instinct not to take their experimentation to excess. There are muddied moments which let some songs down: Elephants, for example, fails to transcend its ponderous title. But these dips are infrequent, and occur towards the end of the album.

Crowded House have always sounded in parts like the later solo career Paul McCartney should have had. Despite the anthems being on a tight leash, repeated listens reveal this to be one of their best albums. --Tom Hocknell

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Like the Beatles double whammy of Rubber Soul & Revolver, Crowded House will forever be measured by the classic Woodface album and it's darker follow up Together Alone. Anyone expecting a re-run of earlier triumphs will be a tad dissapointed by Intriguer - there's no 'Weather With You' sunny singalong optimism and no obvious big singles to set the charts alight.
What you do get however is another record full of Neil Finn's creamy rich melodies, oblique lyrics and addictive songs that, once lodged in the brain, stay there. Business as usual then. Well not exactly. There is a good deal of experimentation on Intriguer that, for a band now on it's 6th release is quite surprising - effects, drum machines, loops, samples - all admirable envelope pushing but not always successful. 'Inside Out' in particular suffers from muddy production and over reliance on technology.
On the plus side Finn's voice has matured beautifully - witness the spooky McCartney like 'Isolation' and the White Album aping 'Falling Dove'. Both float prettily by but leave little impact on first hearing. Give it 3 or 4 listens however and your hooked. Lead single 'Saturday Son' makes it's case for best Crowded House 45 since the band's reformation and the catchy piano lead 'Twice If Your Lucky' is every bit as good as the live previews suggested.
Intriguer ends on a high note with the hauntingly beautiful 'Even If' and the lovely 'Elephants' - the latters 'Sweet Dreams/Make Waves/Find Bliss' refrain perfectly summing up what has gone before.
Intriguer isn't a perfect record by any means, it lacks pacing and, at times is a mite over produced and self conscious. But when those gorgeous harmonies kick in and that nagging hook or poetic lyric clicks into place you remember why you fell in love with Crowded House in the first place.
Repeated listening rewards in spades.
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I really liked Crowded House up to and including Together Alone... saw them live too about 15+ yrs ago and they were great.
However, i really hoped this album would be better than Time On Earth; and whilst I think it is, sadly for me- I was disappointed - again.The positives are I like the addition of some female vocals, and there were a few good tracks on the album that caught my attention; which were quite enjoyable, e.g 6 and 7... but overall it felt bland and uninspired. I hate to say this but at time Neil's vocal's even sounded dreary- sorry, and i do not think I will play this often- it did not lift my mood; and whilst I think CH remain a great band... something is lacking here. Sorry. I miss Paul Hester- he was always my favourite, and it is tragic- & I just do not feel the album is anywhere near the masterpiece of Together Alone.
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Format: Audio CD
Disappointing. Whereas the magnanimous 'Time on Earth' - and pretty much everything released hitherto by Crowded House/ Neil Finn et al, has been Grade A sublime - evocative and beguiling; replete in crisp imagery, adroit chordal harmony, rich engineering, and rarely short of the most important quality of all - catchy songs - Intriguer just floats by without ... doing much at all.

Whilst many may rightfully disagree, if you're expecting vintage Crowded House, you may sadly be disappointed.
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As a huge Crowded house fan, i have to ask, where have all those wonderful uplifting catchy songs gone? with all the hooks that leave you begging for more. Maybe its just me but why is the album so slow i miss the energy of the earlier albums. I have played the album many times and there are a couple of good songs that i can tap my feet to but the rest of the album i'm finding difficult to get into. Oh how i crave for another album like temple of the low men. Maybe i'm getting old! When you see the the band live there's alot of energy, so come on Crowded house put some of that back into your studio work. Fans of more uplifting stuff should check out the Bluetones most recent album a new Athens, its what this album could have been like. Peter.
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Love Crowded House and always have, I think it's fair to say that the current music has a different sound and feel without the wonderful Paul Hester but the same superb song writing from Neil. A nice album but it is still early days as far as playing it so I don't have any stand out tracks as yet.
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I have been a Crowded House/ Finn brothers fan since the mid eighties and have always been biased when it comes to their music. I feel that Neil Finn's music and lyrics are (in my humble opinion) genius.

Intriguer is not a bad album. There are some really nicely crafted tunes, reminiscent of Crowded House's heyday. (e.g Amsterdam). The major problem is that I feel it lacks `punch' (for want of a better word.) So many tracks feel laboured and just don't have the spark we have come to expect.

If I could make an analogy, `Crowded house- Intriguer' makes me think of a football team that have come out for the second half, being 4-0 up and have chosen to show boat the rest of the match. Yes- it's all very nice, but they could be so much better.

A nice album, but that's all.
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Neil Finn is one of the finest songwriters alive, so naturally my expectation was high for this long-awaited collection of new songs. So, does it come up to scratch? Well most of the time, yes... but occasionally, no.

A few of the tracks on this album have gone through a lengthy gestation period - they've been honed into shape through the numerous gigs the band have played since `Time on Earth'. They've therefore been allowed to develop almost organically through the past three or so years, before finally arriving at the finished articles presented here.

Psychedelic first single `Saturday Sun' kick-starts the album. It sounds more spaced-out and less immediate than the stripped-down live version the band have been touring. Commencing with a throbbing Nick Seymour bass line, Neil's voice - processed through a Korg synthesizer to produce a vocoder-type effect - then appears before the track thunders into life and his superb `proper' vocal take over. It's an utterly fantastic opening track with a throat-shredding middle eight, but it occasionally sounds cluttered with too many sounds, serving as a signpost for the fussy over-production that surfaces on the album at fleeting moments. One can only wonder what Youth would have done with the song.

`Archer's Arrows' is next and it's a real grower. Seemingly slight for the first two listens or so, it's only later that its subtle hooks emerge. But then that's one of Neil's strengths: writing melodies that creep up on you and occupy a place in your brain until you can't shake them off.

Of the following three tunes, `Amsterdam' is a track that has benefitted from numerous live performances; it's now matured into a minor classic.
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