Dreamers Are Waiting by Crowded House [5/10]

Rock music made by older people can be wise and moving, but mostly it is a few levels below peak. This is not a lament. I mean, what can we possibly expect of our earlier musical heroes when we ourselves are decrepit? I was never a Crowded House fanatic but Neil Finn’s songwriting genius could never be denied, so “Dreamers Are Waiting” seemed a welcome possibility. For the band’s first release in over a decade, the band composed Finn (teaming up sometimes with brother Tim for songwriting), founding bassist Nick Seymour, Finn’s sons Liam and Ellroy, and, remarkably, producer/arranger extraordinaire Mitchell Froom on keys. My expectations were high and it is fair to say they were mostly dashed. The album of a dozen songs is by no means crappy, and the songwriting is intelligent, but musically, this version of Crowded House plods. The three tracks that shine out are “The Island,” with its joyous chorus; the swaying, dreamy “Too Good For This World”; and “Bad Times Good,” with Finn in great, smooth voice over a building accompaniment. Dreamers Are Waiting will please old fans but welcome few new ones.

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