~ Release group by Crowded House


Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Intriguer CD + DVD-Video 10 + 12 Universal Music Group International (not for release label use! manages UMG's offices in most countries outside of North America) 2740380 602527403809
Intriguer CD 10 Mercury Records (Universal Music Group) 2739938
Intriguer CD 10 Fantasy (Jazz label started in the 50s) FAN-32257-02 888072322578
Intriguer 12" Vinyl 10 Universal Music International Division (do not use as a release label! sub-division of Universal Music GmbH) 00602527415185 602527415185
Intriguer (deluxe edition) 2×CD 10 + 16 Universal Music (plain logo: "Universal Music") 5372051 0600753720516


Discogs: [info]
Wikidata: Q10303244 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Intriguer [info]
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Intriguer is Crowded House's second album since the suicide of drummer and co-founder Paul Hester in 2005 (and their sixth overall), and follows 2007's well-received comeback LP Time On Earth. Prior to that record's release, 13 years had passed since the band's fourth studio set, 1993's Together Alone.

This set improves upon Time On Earth, too - it's more of a band effort, whereas its predecessor was originally intended as a Neil Finn solo offering. It doesn't mess with the Crowded House formula, although those hoping for the instantly gratifying melodies of catalogue classics like Weather With You will have to dig a little deeper. But this is no bad thing, and singer-songwriter Finn claims to have experimented with new sounds here. Though the album doesn't overwhelm with adventurousness, scattered female harmonies provide relief and the vocoder on lead single Saturday Sun proves a ghostly and effective touch.

Hester's absence still hangs over the band - if not explicitly, then in spirit - as Intriguer continues the sombre mood of its predecessor. The lyrical, Paul Simon-esque folk of Falling Dove is one such example, while the haunting duet of Isolation shyly embraces electronics without sounding forced.

Finn's handling of a tune remains strong and his poetic sense of place, familiar to fans of the band, remains. This resonates in the wistful dreaming of Amsterdam and the joyful atmospherics of Either Side of the World, with its loose samba beat and disco-influenced piano (actually inspired by John Paul Young's Love is in the Air). The subtlety in the strength of material like the radio-friendly Saturday Sun and the gently epic Archer's Arrows bears out the band's instinct not to take their experimentation to excess. There are muddied moments which let some songs down: Elephants, for example, fails to transcend its ponderous title. But these dips are infrequent, and occur towards the end of the album.

Crowded House have always sounded in parts like the later solo career Paul McCartney should have had. Despite the anthems being on a tight leash, repeated listens reveal this to be one of their best albums.