Crowded House, 'Time on Earth' (ATO)

Time on Earth
Critical Mass
Label: ATO

by J Niimi

Midway through the sessions for a solo album, Neil Finn rang up some old mates. And with original Crowded House bassist Nick Seymour, late-era guitarist Mark Hart, and former Beck drummer Matt Sherrod (replacing Paul Hester, who committed suicide in 2005), Finn delivers the modest, delicately crafted record that 1993's Together Alone -- the band's enervated, far-flung swan song -- should have been. Though lacking the immediacy of hits like "Don't Dream It's Over," or "Something so Strong," Time on Earth is an assured, soothing collection of sweet-tempered pop tunes ("Even a Child"), and ballads ("Pour Le Monde").

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