15 Jun 2024
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Crowded House - Album Review: Gravity Stairs

10 Jun 2024 // A review by Kerry MB


In a moment we’ve all been waiting for, Crowded House, who need no introduction have released their new album, Gravity Stairs.

It’s only been a little over two years since their last offering, Dreamers Are Waiting (2021) and it seems fans just can’t get enough.

With the current line still standing since 2020 as Neil Finn, Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom and Neil’s son’s, Liam and Elroy Finn, respectively. Gravity Stairs is eleven tracks of rich creativity and solid song writing, best described as an entrenched hallucinatory onion. Heavily layered, and each revealing something otherworldly.

First track in, and, from what I read, one of the first songs the band worked out in rehearsals over 3 different continents ( Australia, New Zealand and California) is Magic Piano. It has a fantastic Beatles meets Bowie tone. Completely ethereal, it’s interesting to read the complexities of it, yet it does sound effortless and completely organic.

As you get a few more tracks in, it’s clear this is a very full, but delicate album. The sound is definitely surreal in a lot of ways, with again, those onion layers, some obvious, some not. Twists and turns catch you out like a labyrinth.

Jumping from one idea to the next, you can never say Crowded House are predictable, and with their longevity in the game, they’ve learnt a thing or two about creating art that speaks to them as musicians. What is produced is always magical and Gravity Stairs is no exception.

 For example, I Can’t Keep Up With You. It’s a melting pot of creativity. I hear some outstanding riffs that wouldn’t have seemed out of a place off a Betchadupa record back in the day, yet there it also reminds me of some early T-Rex, again a hint of Bowie and early Beatles.

What they have also captured in abundance with Gravity Stairs is measured simplicity. With last track, Night Song. Reading the backstory about it and how one man’s early morning ramblings became art is truly looking outside the box. It also shows a new layer Crowded House bring to 2024 and their craft, and I, like many others can’t wait to experience more.

 

About Crowded House

After Split Enz broke up in 1984, Neil Finn, Paul Hester (Split Enz's last drummer), Melbourne bassist/artist Nick Seymour, and Craig Hooper (guitar) created a band originally called The Mullanes.

They moved to Los Angeles in 1985 in search of a record label. Whilst in LA they stayed in a cramped North Hollywood home which inspired a name change to Crowded House. They soon scored a recording deal with Capitol Records, and with the help of producer Mitchell Froom the band (by this time a trio with the departure of Hooper) wrote and recorded what was to be their biggest commercial success.

Crowded House's debut album was released to little excitement early on, however in 1987 two singles lifted from the album became enormously successful. The first single from the album Don't Dream It's Over eventually reached the #2 position on the Billboard Charts (and stands as the bands most successful single), and Something So Strong reached #7 on the Billboards. The album had one of the longest ascents up the charts ever noted, eventually peaking at #12.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Crowded House

Releases

Gravity Stairs
Year: 2024
Type: Album
The Very Very Best of Crowded House
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Intriguer
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Platinum
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Time On Earth
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Farewell To The World
Year: 2006
Type: DVD
Afterglow
Year: 2000
Type: Album
Together Alone
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Woodface
Year: 1991
Type: Album
Temple Of Low Men
Year: 1988
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Crowded House
Year: 1986
Type: Album

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