1 Jul 2022

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Album Review: Various Artists - True Colours New Colours

03 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Unless you live in NZ it is probably unlikely you will realise just what an important band Split Enz was/is to the local scene. Sure, they had some international hits and I remember hearing I Got You back in the UK when it was released as a single, but in NZ/Aus they were/are royalty and True Colours has rightly taken its place as one of the most important albums ever released in Aotearoa. They had 10 albums (including seven studio albums) reach the top 10 of the Official New Zealand Music Chart and between 1980 and 1982, they had four number-one albums in New Zealand and three in Australia. True Colours included the Neil Finn-written breakthrough single I Got You which reached the top of the charts on both sides of the ditch, while the album also hit #1 in both countries, #10 in Canada, and inside the Top 40 in both the UK and USA.

Although the Aussies have always seen fit to lay claim to various NZ bands which have travelled to Australia (such as Crowded House, Dragon), Split Enz have always been very much Kiwi icons, but close to Australian hearts (they had more entries than anyone else in the 2001 APRA Top 100 New Zealand Songs of All Time with eight, and that doesn’t include the six for Crowded House), and this 2021 celebratory re-recording features artists from both NZ and Australia. The concept was simple, re-record the whole album, with each performer given just one song, and being allowed to make it their own, but does it work?

Firstly, this is a collection of great songs, and with everyone ensuring the song is at least recognisable then it is hard for it to be anything but fun, but is it essential? Take for example Australian duo Lime Cordiale and their version of Nobody Takes Me Seriously: it is a decent cover but while not detracting anything it doesn’t add anything either. However, Busby Marou have taken Missing Person and turned it into something special, poignant, and heartfelt. Stan Walker is one of the highlights, taking Poor Boy and changing it into a modern dance classic with wonderful vocals. This could easily have been taken as a single as it has his class all over it as he makes it one of his own.

But when it comes to the classic from the album, there really was only band who could be chosen to undertake the iconic I Got You, and that was the mighty Shihad. They are restrained in the verse, but the chorus just goes off, and I only hope they perform this whenever they manage to tour (it’s been cancelled twice now due to COVID). This was always a song which threatened to be a belter, so Jon has just upped the ante and done just that, and if ever a song is designed to get everyone bouncing up and down in the mosh and singing at the top of their voices, it is this one. A special mention must also be made of the punkish up-tempo approach of The Beths on What’s The Matter With You which is just plain over the top fun.

This is available as both an album on its own or a deluxe issue which also contains the original album as well. Overall, I still prefer the original, but there are some fine covers on here.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Dark Divinity - Single Review: Left For Dead
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2017 by drummer Ian Moir, melodic death metal act Dark Divinity have been through quite a lot in the last five years, as not only have they supported the likes of At The Gates, The Haunted, The Black Dahlia Murder and Psycroptic but have already released an EP, some singles and have of course been running the gamut of line-up changes. The most recent of these has seen the departure of singer Jolene Tempest and the return to a male singer in Jesse Wheeler, with the line-up completed by guitarist/bassist Paul Stewart and guitarist Jiji Aligno.
Tryonics - Album Review: Fragmented
29 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. It is completely a one-man affair as Hap not only provided all the music and vocals but also recorded and mixed it as well.
Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel
24 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based Anxiety Club, taken from the forthcoming album Old Dreams, but anyone expecting more of their guitar-led music is going to be in for quite a surprise as there has been a major shift in their sound, caused by circumstance as much as by design. Like many bands unable to perform or tour over the pandemic, they used the downtime to focus on new songs, but that was not their only issue.
Capital Theatre - Album Review: A Hero's Journey
24 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Back in March last year I made my way to the Tuning Fork to catch a three-band bill, one of whom was Capital Theatre. At that point I had not heard any of their material, so was mightily impressed to discover they had recorded a concept album for their debut with Mike Clink (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Megadeth etc) in America, and that night they were playing it in sequence.
Sam Bartells - Single Review: Good Intentions
23 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Last year I saw Sam Bartells at The Tuning Fork with a full band, and then a few weeks ago he was playing acoustically at a tiny venue in Ponsonby with just a keyboard player for support (what an incredible night that was). In some ways his latest single is a combination of those two very different facets, as the central core of his music is always his acoustic and vocals.
South for Winter - EP Review: Acoustic Sessions
22 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I agreed to review a concert of the Nashville-based husband and wife duo of Nick Stone (vocals, guitar) and Dani Cichon (vocals, mandolin), without previously having heard any of their music and it is fair to say I was blown away. I was fortunate enough to see them on two consecutive nights, and the mix of Dani’s pure, clear vocals with Nick’s more classical tones was something to behold.
Recitals - Single Review: Rock Dove
19 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Recitals are a 7-piece band based in both Te Whanganui-A-Tara (Wellington) and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and comprise Xanthe Rook (bass, vocals), Tharushi Bowatte (trumpet), Carla Camilleri (keyboards, vocals), Olivia Wilding (cello), Christian Dimick (guitar, vocals), Josh Finegan (drums), and Sam Curtiss (guitar). Even before playing the first single from their debut album Orbit I (released at the end of August on Flying Nun Records) I was intrigued by the line-up as it is unusual to find both a trumpeter and cellist in the same band, and having now listened to the single I am still intrigued, but now it is because I am wondering what the album is like.
Matt Joe Gow - Album Review: Break, Rattle and Roll
19 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
After touring and playing numerous festivals in support of Seven Years, Matt returned to the studio in 2018 to record the follow-up, Break, Rattle and Roll. Released to wide acclaim, it went one better than his previous release and was awarded Best Country Album in the 2019 Music Victoria Awards.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

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