Under The Radar- Crowded House, Woodface (1991)
Updated: Mar 25
Woodface, the third studio album by Crowded House was produced by Mitchell Froom and released in July 1991 by Capitol Records. It spawned five singles "Chocolate Cake", "Fall at Your Feet", "Weather with You", "Four Seasons in One Day", and "It's Only Natural".
The album did very well in Australia and the UK but was largely dismissed by the American record buying public and stalled at number 83 on the Billboard album charts. Unfortunately, the album was a victim of bad sequencing because of the band's choice with the album's lead off single, Chocolate Cake.
Chocolate Cake was a tongue-in-cheek attack on Americans and their obsession with excess and celebrity. It took pot-shots at everyone from Tammy Faye Baker to Andrew Lloyd Webber (“May his trousers fall down as he bows to the queen and the crown”). Needless to say the American radio programmers were not amused and did not support the album or the four subsequent singles that were released.
It's too bad, Woodface is arguably one the band's finest releases; combining flawless melodies and outstanding harmonies. It may just be one of the best written and sounding, straight up pop records in post Beatles musical history.
With the pop perfect tracks, It's Only Natural, Four Seasons in One Day, Weather With You, the moody Fall at Your Feet and the jazz infused big band ballade All that I ask, makes Woodface the strongest collection of songs put out by Crowded House on one release.
The only other flaw with Woodface, is that at 14 tracks, it seems a little bloated and could have used a trimming of least 2 of the its tracks.
Woodface is definitely overdue for a well-deserved dusting off and a re-examination. The album seems to grow stronger over time and keeps on revealing fresh layers. It sounded great twenty years ago and even now in 2019, I’m still hearing / discovering new things in this underrated record.