Together Alone (Deluxe)

Together Alone (Deluxe)

On their 1993 album Together Alone, Crowded House pushed themselves to a level of experimentalism they had not previously explored. Its persistent strangeness is strange in a spiritual way—which is not to say Neil Finn’s renowned talent for classic pop songwriting is obscured. Together Alone found its way into many a chart on the back of six singles, two of which—“Distant Sun” and “Locked Out”—became enduring, clamoured-for favourites. Joined by Killing Joke bassist Martin ‘Youth’ Glover as producer, Crowded House also elevated multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart from touring member to full-time band fixture for the proceedings. Youth’s job was to make sense of Together Alone’s myriad instrumentation, vocalists and ideas (several songs feature a Māori choir and log drummers). Hart would go on to work extensively with Ringo Starr in the 2000s, and there is a distinctly White Album-era sensibility to the weird whimsy of “Pineapple Head” and the bubbling Indian percussion underpinning “Private Universe”. Every track was an odd proposition from Crowded House, dense with curly melodies that never fully unfurl (“Fingers Of Love”) and digressions into jangly alt-pop (“Skin Feeling”). The titular closing track is the apex of everything that came before—an anthem for a non-existent nation.

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