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Time On Earth

4.4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 6, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2007 reunion album from Neil Finn and his housemates. The CD features the long-awaited album produced by Ethan Johns [Kings Of Leon, Ray LaMontagne] and Steve Lillywhite [U2, Morrissey]. 14 tracks including the first single 'Don't Stop Now' and 'Even A Child'. ATO.

Fourteen years, a live CD/DVD, some solo albums, and one tragic suicide after Crowded House's last release comes this highly anticipated reunion. Singer/songwriter Neil Finn and bassist Nick Seymour reunited after the 2005 death of drummer Paul Hester, brought in a new member and two producers (Ethan Johns and Steve Lillywhite) to replace longtime cohort Mitchell Froom, and the impressive result is a logical and overdue addition to the band's previous four albums. Finn's knack for a melodic ballad remains firmly in place as Time on Earth coasts on his dreamy voice and introspective, hook-laden pop choruses. However, this is a more reflective collection that requires a few spins to fully reveal its charms. Finn co-writes "Even a Child" with Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and that and the frisky "She Called Up" are the most buoyant tracks on this predominantly pensive disc. Finn has generally shaded towards a darker edge and this hour-long set might have benefited from more of the lighter touch he applies to "Transit Lounge," a song enhanced by Beth Rowley's lovely and startling wordless vocals along with jazzy electric piano and even airport sound effects. Strings, sitar, and intricate production add subtle elements that bolster the timeless musical qualities Finn has always reveled in. The ominous, even brooding "Silent House," a co-write with all three Dixie Chicks, is another highlight that sounds like nothing either has done before as it floats along on fuzz guitar and hurdy-gurdy, both courtesy of Johns. Trimming some weaker cuts would have made this a more focused listen, but Time on Earth is a worthy successor to Crowded House's existing catalog--a high compliment indeed. --Hal Horowitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Nobody Wants To
  2. Don't Stop Now
  3. She Called Up
  4. Say That Again
  5. Pour Le Monde
  6. Even A Child
  7. Heaven That I'm Making
  8. A Sigh
  9. Silent House
  10. English Trees
  11. Walked Her Way Down
  12. Transit Lounge
  13. You Are The One To Make Me Cry
  14. People Are Like Suns

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 6, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO Records
  • ASIN: B000Q9OD7G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
First up, I'd suggest listening to the samples provided here to see if this terrific Crowded House album is going to be for you. It doesn't sound like anything Neil's done with the band before (although it does recall "Temple of Low Men" and "Together Alone" in terms of its mood). Fans will love this album which builds subtly, over many listens. It is worming its way into my list top albums for this year. Neil is reflective on the changes in his life. Some of the tunes on here are some of the most catchy of his career. He also co-writes a tune with former Smith Johnny Marr (the chiming "Even a Child")and one with The Dixie Chicks. Neil continues to be one of the finest songwriters of his generation and he won't let down fans with this release either.

One thing that Neil Finn never does is make the same album twice. Crowded House fans will find that "Time on Earth" grows on you and isn't as instantly memorable as "Woodface" but is equally as powerful and memorable. In fact, this album reminds me more of the follow up to the band's popular "Woodface" album, "Together Alone"; the melodies are touched with melancholy. You can't help but feel that the death of Paul Hester (the band's original drummer, occasional songwriter and friend of Neil's since the end of Split Enz), middle age and changes in Neil's personal life informed this terrific album. As always, Neil demonstrates a knack for writing memorable melodies and thoughtful, deeply felt lyrics that rank among the best out there.
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Format: Audio CD
Time on Earth is a masterpiece. Not as immediately accessible as the earlier Crowded House ablums, this one has so many very special moments. There is so much "home" to the new Crowded House. I continue to be amazed at what a great songwriter Neil Finn is. He allows his beautiful voice to show the pain he has suffered with the loss of Paul Hester. Listen to the gorgeous "Pour Le Monde" and "People are Like Suns", they are stunning and haunting lyrically, musically and vocally. Also, the background vocals throughout this album are remarkable and beautifully realized.

This is one of those albums which will be recognized as a classic many years from now. It is the Abbey Road for Crowded House (the Beatle reference is intentional). Great songs, gorgeous vocals, beautiful production, great band. Time on Earth is the album of the year and may be Neil Finn's masterpiece. Yes, it is that good.
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Format: Audio CD
This new Crowded House effort is simply wonderful. But, if you're after instant gratification, then this album is not for you. It is impossible to comment on this CD before at least half a dozen listens. It is darker and heavier than previous Crowded House sets and Paul Hester's presence is everywhere. While it may not have the same level of energy as you'd expect from typical Crowded House fare, it nevertheless has moments of pure Neil Finn genius. She Called Up is the closest thing to the boppy Crowded House of yesterday, reminiscent of Something So Strong. In part, Time On Earth does resemble one of Neil Finn's solo projects, but this is only logical because this CD began as Finn's next solo work until the suggestion of reforming Crowded House was raised. There are aspects of every part of Finn's career on this CD, with hints of Split Enz, reminders of the Crowded House we used to love (and now love again) and both his own work and that with brother Tim, as well. On first listen, you'll probably only like two or three tracks, but after half a dozen listens you won't be able to put it down. There's something to enjoy about nearly every track on this CD. The uptempo pop of the Crowded House of the 80s and 90s still exists on Time on Earth, the gorgeous ballads are haunting, the brooding rock of Silent House (co-written with The Dixie Chicks) fantastic, and the melodies, just beautiful. To all those doubters out there, you didn't really think one of the greatest songwriters of our generation would let us down, did you?
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Format: Audio CD
When I heard in 2006 that Neil Finn's planned next solo album was going to be a Crowed House album, I was a little disappointed. Owning CH albums, Split Enz albums, and the two Finn Brothers albums, I ultimately find Neil Finn's solo material (_Try Whistling This_ & _One Nil_) to be his best work. However, since this is Neil Finn we're talking about--easily one of pop music's best songwriters--regardless of what name was going to be on the album, it would likely be up to par with his previous work. However, stacked up against such phenomenal post-CH work, _Time on Earth_ does ultimately dissapoint a little bit.

Lyrically, the suicide of original drummer Paul Hester looms over nearly the entire album. From the beautiful opener "Nobody Wants To" to the Split Enz-like "She Called Up" to the plaintive "Silent House," Neil Finn is clearly mourning within this material. The first half of the album is just as good as anything Crowded House has done, with "Pour Le Monde" being another stunning, melancholy work of songwriting genius that fans have come to expect from Finn ("he imagines the world/as the angel ascending/like the ghost of a man/who is tied up to the chair/and he tries to believe/that his life has a meaning/with his hand on his heart"). Co-written by Johnny Marr, "Even A Child" is pure pop rock CH at its best. About midway through the album, the momentum slows down a bit. "Heaven That I'm Making," sounds like something that might've made it onto _One Nil_, and while it slinks along at a comfortable pace, it fails to make much of an impression. It is then followed by the pretty, but again, slightly lackluster "A Sigh.
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