Picks and Pans Review: The Temple of Low Men

updated 09/05/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Crowded House

One of the most enjoyable debuts of recent years was that of this Australia-based trio, headed by singer-composer Neil Finn, in 1986. That record's neatly turned pop tunes had a tangy charm that evoked the imperishable pleasures o', Squeeze. This strong follow-up is ample indication that Finn possesses a durable talent. Although the lyrics on The Temple of Low Men are darker and more pessimistic than those of the band's debut album, Finn's melodies have lost none of their spare elegance. The songs on this LP, produced by Mitchell Froom, are often more inventively presented and even at times (dare we say) Beatlesque. While Finn's mood seems to have slipped into a sadder, minor key here, it is clear on songs like Into Temptation that we are in the presence of true pop artistry. That's a rare commodity. If you put all the musicians who possess it today together in the same place, the house wouldn't be very crowded at all. (Capitol)

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