Crowded House

Afterglow - Capitol 2000

Tracks: Tracks: 1. I Am In Love / 2. Sacred Cow / 3. You Can Touch / 4. Help Is Coming / 5. I Love You Dawn / 6. Dr Livingstone / 7. My Telly's Gone Bung / 8. Private Universe / 9. Lester / 10. Anyone Can Tell / 11. Recurring Dream / 12. Left Hand / 13. Time Immemorial


"Afterglow" is a collection of outtakes, alternate versions and oddities recorded by Crowded House during 1985-94. Very often such collections come out uneven and pale compared to the artists' regular releases. For me this was not the case with this 1999 release, which not have hits like "Don't Dream it's Over" or "Weather With You", but still shows strong and consistent playing and writing.

When the band split up in 1996 they left behind them an unfinished album and a great number of other unreleased recordings. When you listen to this album it's big wonder why so many of these songs never made to the album, but fortunately the songs work really well as a whole in this context. Of course some songs stand out from the rest; for me especially the alternate version of "Private Universe", which is softer and spacier and without the distorted guitars of the "Together Alone" version.

"Anyone Can Tell" is a catchy commercial type of song that might have made it to the charts. Songs like "I Am Alone" and Sacred Cow" are more of the same melodic vein. Also the John Lennon inspired "I Love You Dawn" and the waltzy folky closing-track "Time Immemorial" stand out. All but one song, Paul Hester's charming "My Telly's Gone Bung" were written by Neil Finn. A surprisingly consistent album.

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