More than ten years after the emotional, now-legendary farewell gig on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, Neil Finn and co. make a very welcome return. New drummer Matt Sherrod (Beck)replaces the much loved and missed Paul Hester, who tragically took his own life last year. Very much a classic Crowded House record, 'Time On Earth' continues where 'Together Alone' left off with opening track 'Nobody Wants To' first single 'Don't Stop Now' and 'Silent Hill' as good as any song the band has ever written - showing that Mr. Finn still has plenty of classic tunes left in him.
An ensemble cast of musicians appear on the album with Bassist Nick Seymour and Multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart remaining from the last incarnation of the band. Drum duties are shared between Sherrod, Producer Ethan Johns and Rikki Gooch (TrinityRoots), with other guests like Johhny Marr (the Smiths, Modest Mouse) and Eddie Rayner (Split Enz) popping up throughout. The family Finn feature large on the album too, with youngest son Elroy providing acoustic guitar and Wife Sharon and Eldest Liam (Betchadupa) on Backing Vocals. Liam Finn also joins the band live, as touring guitarist and backing vocalist – continuing that unique genetic vocal connection that Neil has previously shared with brother Tim.
Despite some crossed-words spoken when they disbanded in the 90s, Seymour's slinky bass lines meld effortlessly with Finn's melodies – the two complimenting each other more than they perhaps realised in the past. As well as some of the most upbeat songs the band has ever recorded, there are some more introspective moments, no doubt informed by the loss of Hester. Not only is 'Time On Earth' a fitting tribute to their fallen comrade it also signals a promising future for this beloved "kiwi" band. Also available for a very limited time as a Bonus DVD edition.