Songwriting duo who made up the important bit of Crowded House
On the sleeve of ‘Everyone Is Here’, Tim and Neil Finn, frowning and pale, cannot bring themselves to look at each other. Does this suggest that, like Abba’s ‘The Visitors’ before it, ‘Everyone Is Here’ is a great split-up album, full of bared claws and tension? Um, no, not at all. But the forced glumness of the cover is a pretty good pointer for what lies within. Say what you like about Crowded House – and we will – amid their saccharine harmonies and ill-advised trousers, they at least looked like they were having a good time.
Here, stultifying moroseness and a constant furrowing of the brow permeate from start to finish, with titles like ‘Disembodied Voices’ and ‘Edible Flowers’ betraying middle-aged men striving for some kind of higher seriousness before they retire. The only levity comes on ‘Luckiest Man Alive’ and ‘All God’s Children’, and then that’s only because they’re the ones that sound most like Crowded House. And if that’s all you have to recommend yourself, then you ain’t got much.