Crowded House disbanded in the mid Nineties, after recording four excellent albums. It was presumed that any chance of a reunion disappeared with the death of drummer Paul Hester in 2005, but the New Zealanders returned just two years later with album #5, Time On Earth. Shortly after that, they released their sixth (and to date, final) album Intriguer, which features “Either Side Of The World”.
Neil Finn’s songwriting chops have held up well over the years, and “Either Side Of The World” stands on the same delicate line between comforting and melancholy that “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Distant Sun” and…a good 75% of Crowded House’s recorded catalog stands on.
I’m trying to think of more descriptive verbiage to use, but I feel like anything I can come up with won’t do justice to what a beautiful piece of music “Either Side Of The World” is. I feel a calmness musically, but the melody and Neil Finn’s singing take you through a few different mood stages. I’m probably not going to do as good a job as listening to the actual music will…so just click on that YouTube screen cap and enjoy. But first…
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“The Edge Of Heaven” (Wham!, 1986)– “The Edge Of Heaven” kinda sounds like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, but darker, more sinister. And why is George Michael talking about chaining someone up and being in dirty movies? These were the things I wondered when I was 10. I don’t wonder much about them anymore. Trivia nerds (or piano nerds) might want to note that Elton John plays the piano intro here.
“Edge Of Seventeen” (Stevie Nicks, 1982)– What lifts “Edge Of Seventeen” into the rarified air of perfect singles is Waddy Wachtel’s amazing guitar riffage. I mean, Stevie Nicks is awesome, but that riff is one of the most recognizable intros to a song to come out of the entire decade of the ’80s. And the ’80s was a fantastic decade for pop music–and pop music intros.
“Ego Trippin’ Part II” (De La Soul, 1993)– Free associative fun, with lines snatched here and there that are adaptations of classic lines spit throughout hip-hop history.