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Split Enz - True Colours CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

2.99 | 37 ratings

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3 stars (3.5 stars) Split Enz's international breakthrough album, True Colours, stands as one of the highlights of the new wave era, with the band virtually shedding its more eccentric musical ambitions in favour of a vivid and polished, slightly left-of-centre, pop sound that makes heavy use of synthesizers and rhythmic percussion. No other songs on the album achieve the brilliance of the first track, 'I Got You' (also Split Enz's biggest hit single), but there are enough otherwise strong tracks to make True Colours consistently enjoyable, interesting and original. While it is difficult to identify definite traces of Split Enz's progressive rock past in this "power pop" reincarnation of the band, there is still something idiosyncratic and offbeat in the music which, together with the explorative use of synthesizers (particularly on two instrumental tracks, 'The Choral Sea' and 'Double Happy'), provides hints of an unconventional, more artistic side of the band. Meanwhile, Split Enz's penchant for humour and quirkiness, evident since the beginning of their recordings, continues to animate their style and song-writing, albeit in a more catchy, pop-oriented fashion, as best evidenced in the delightful 'Shark Attack', 'What's the Matter with you' and 'Nobody Takes me Seriously'. The only song other than 'I Got You' to make it as a hit single from the album (at least in Australasia) is the love ballad, 'I Hope I Never', which features an impressive vocal performance by Tim Finn, though it may have been perceived as somewhat too sentimental and 'uncool' to Split Enz's newly-found new wave audience. However, several other tracks had hit single potential and received significant radio airplay, in particular the moody, melodic and inspired 'Poor Boy', a favourite among Enz fans, and one with a slightly progressive musical arrangement. With hardly a weak track on the album and it's strong pop-orientation, True Colours was Split Enz's most commercially successful album (though not quite their best in my view), reaching multi-platinum status in Australia and New Zealand, platinum status in Canada, and scraping the top 40 in the US (the highest Split Enz ever charted in that country).
filster8 | 3/5 |


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