Crowded House: Gravity Stairs (BMG) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  

Crowded House

Gravity Stairs

BMG

Jun 10, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


With Crowded House’s eighth album, the band has clearly matured from the happy-go-lucky pop of its ‘80s and ‘90s heyday. However, as Gravity Stairs makes completely clear, Crowded House is still firmly in possession of its melodic smarts and songwriting chops.

Frontman Neil Finn is still holding the reins, of a band that includes original member Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom, who worked on all those early Crowded House albums, and Finn’s own sons Elroy and Liam.

The album starts with the airy delicateness of “Magic Piano,” before moving into more familiar melodic fare. “Teenage Summer” is a melancholic melody that subtly evokes Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” and “The Howl” is as close to jangle pop as you’ll find on Gravity Stairs.

Elsewhere, the album’s pleasures are more ethereal. “Blurry Grass” lopes along at a comfortable pace. “Black Water, White Circle” feels barely there with its lounge-y atmospherics. “I Can’t Keep Up With You” adds a nice rhythmic insistency to the proceedings. And the album closer, “Night Song,” is almost jazzy in its presentation.

Most of Gravity Stairs revels in a certain slowness, a soft touch that often barely registers. However, amid the lightness, there are plenty of revelatory moments to be found, perhaps the most impactful being “Some Greater Plan (for Claire),” a song inspired by Finn’s father’s war diary and a wistful, emotion-filled melody with gentle harmony vocals, a song of sweet romance. (www.crowdedhouse.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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