“More experimental and musically varied than any of their previous releases” (Erlewine), Together Alone is “arguably [Crowded House’s] best record” (Amazon.com). The band is “branching out into traditional Maori music and heavy guitars” (Erlewine); “the musical arrangements here reflected and encompassed more of their native Kiwi homeland [of] New Zealand” (Amazon.com).
The band switch from longtime producer “Mitchell Froom to Killing Joke's Youth” (Amazon.com), a move that “energizes their sound without losing sight” (Erlewine) of “the shining pop songcraft that is Neil Finn's trademark” (Erlewine). “Each track…is played with passion and heart…The music is simply breathtaking and the lyrics poetic and intelligent” (Amazon.com). “Neil [writes] meaningful heartfelt material…in droves” (Starostin). “Most of the songs have ‘The Touch’” (Starostin) on “this set of thirteen ear catching tracks” (Amazon.com).
“One really good new element here is new member Mick Hart's guitar playing. His style is mostly quite traditional; far from being an aficionado of "new" playing techniques, his main idols seem to rather belong to the Clapton/Harrison crowd…it helps make the opening pop rocker, Kare Kare, about ten times moodier than it could have been otherwise. The idea is to create a slightly dark, but utterly romantic mood without sounding cliched, and the subtle touches of Hart's slide guitar after each verse are the main ingredient in the concoction; the song's main hookline is not the actual chorus, but rather the way Finn's oo-oo-ooing seamlessly merges with Hart's playing” (Starostin).
“For those who want to hear their favourite band rocking out, there's In My Command, not exactly a hard rocker per se, but a song that cleverly alternates power-pop choruses with hellraising guitar passages” (Starostin).
Nails In My Feet’s “melody…is as gentle and crystal clear and fresh and guitar-based as always, and vocal hooks just keep splashing off the walls. The transition from the rough desperation of the verses to the gorgeous ‘and it briiiiings me relief’ culmination is so natural and easy-going you can't help but admire the artistry” (Starostin).
“Other soft-sounding, caressingly arranged ballads like Pineapple Head and Catherine Wheels also qualify in this regard” (Starostin).
“If you wanted something really heavy, there's always Black & White Boy, with easily the grungiest guitar part to ever come from these guys…[There are also] mysterious lyrics whose protagonist is definitely not easy to decipher…some people have suggested it's actually a dog - could certainly be, at least it's a nice explanation that relieves the band of any possible racist/sexist accusations” (Starostin).
“The speedy, funky, Madchester-influenced Locked Out, with a particularly paranoid coda offer[s] something tasty for the headbangers” (Starostin).
“For those who just want straightahead, unassuming…power-pop, there's…Distant Sun…For all their adult-contemporarishness, Fingers of Love and Private Universe…betray far more personality” (Starostin). The latter features some “neat guitar textures…where it almost sounds like an Eno-enhanced pseudo-ambient synthesizer, successfully outpunching the real (boring, but maybe necessarily boring) synthesizers” (Starostin).
“The title track, closing the album in anthemic style…[is] all about paying tribute to Neil Finn's native homeland, including some Maori tribal chanting and drumming (although, for some reason, the chanting suspiciously reeks of generic gospel in places” (Starostin).
In short, “Together Alone wasn't actually planned as a goodbye album, [but] it works well as one” (Starostin).