In the early-'90s, flannel-shirted Antipodean pop minstrels [a]Crowded House[/a] quelled the same spring of heartache as the sweet-natured Scottish tunesmiths - knotted brows, heartfelt sentiments, su

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Afterglow

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Afterglow

Was that a sneer? Because if [I]NME [/I]comes to your house, rifles through your records, and finds one solitary [a]Travis[/a] album, then you’re guilty of the grossest hypocrisy. In the early-’90s, flannel-shirted Antipodean pop minstrels [a]Crowded House[/a] quelled the same spring of heartache as the sweet-natured Scottish tunesmiths – knotted brows, heartfelt sentiments, such nice songs – and of course, then as now, the world clasped them to its collective bosom.

Curse the pop world, though, for the public’s love inevitably creates a monster. The sort of fiend that snickers with glee over the box marked ‘out-takes’, that wilfully uses the phrase ‘live favourite’, that pastes price-stickers onto the tape marked ‘demo’ to resuscitate that lifeless cash cow. Four years after their split, ‘Afterglow’ collects together [a]Crowded House[/a]’s half-cocked ‘orphan’ songs, and frankly, such is the overwhelming sense of apathy – well, why bother?

We’re talking songs like the sub-McCartney ‘I Love You Dawn’, where frontman Neil Finn turns his back on the “magazines and rock awards”, and pledges his love to his wife. Acoustically. We’re talking ‘My Telly’s Gone Bung’ – alas, the drummer’s television is broken. Is anyone still here?

Beware, Fran Healy – one day you’ll be press-ganged into releasing those forgotten home demos. It’s a sure way of tarnishing even the meekest legacy.