28 Nov 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

Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

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