Temple of Low Men

(1988), 8.5/10
Crowded House’s second album is a significant step forward from their first, even though it failed to match the impact of its predecessor. Unfortunately it didn’t have a great single like ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ – first single ‘Better Be Home Soon’ is a very good song, but it’s not immediate enough to be hit song. It’s representative of the album as a whole – Temple of Low Men doesn’t have as many pop hooks, but it’s a more mature and cohesive than the debut. The standout track on Temple of Low Men is the beautiful ‘Into Temptation’, with a soaring bridge, inspired by Neil’s Catholic childhood, while the brooding, simmering ‘When You Come’ is another highlight. There are plenty of low key and melodic pieces like ‘Better Be Home Soon’, ‘I Feel Possessed’ and ‘Never Be The Same’; these are balanced by the more uptempo ‘Kill Eye’, ‘Sister Madly’, the latter featuring guitar solos from label-mate Richard Thompson. Temple of Low Men is a more mature, nuanced work from Crowded House, but it failed to make an impact in America – fortunately their next album would launch them as a major act in the United Kingdom.

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