Crowded House, "Intriguer"

Album Review
4.5
<p>The urgent rocker "Saturday Sun" is a rousing, if somewhat misleading, way to open <a href="/artist/crowded-house/4383">Crowded House</a>'s sixth studio album. A collection of moody, meditative numbers that gradually reveals its charms after successive spins, "Intriguer" feels far removed from the more radio-ready fare of the band's early years. But that'll suit frontman <a href="/artist/neil-finn/60667">Neil Finn</a>'s core fan base just fine, particularly those who treasure his introspective solo work and his <a href="/artist/finn-brothers/141339">Finn Brothers</a> projects with sibling <a href="/artist/tim-finn/4606">Tim</a>. "Archer's Arrows" throbs with righteous anger, while songs like "Falling Dove," "Twice If You're Lucky" and "Even If" evoke a sense of yearning and loss, without veering toward despair. And on the standout track "Isolation," Finn duets with his wife, Sharon, for a subdued meditation on solitude before the whole thing gives way to a cathartic fade-out featuring stinging guitar lines from son <a href="/artist/liam-finn/212761">Liam</a>. Through it all, Finn's durable songcraft never fails to enthrall.</p>