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Split Enz - Waiata / Corroboree CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

3.13 | 19 ratings

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3 stars Waiata (Corroboree in Australia) is usually seen as an acceptable, yet somewhat less original, safe follow-up to Split Enz's breakthrough album, True Colours, released a year earlier. Indeed, this is perhaps Split Enz's only lateral move, essentially maintaining the sharp, new wave-like sound of True Colours, albeit in a slightly darker vein; although considering that the band had practically changed its style on each of their previous 5 albums, one can hardly blame them for capitalizing on the style that finally brought them some of the attention they very much deserved. And to its defence, Waiata has some very fine moments, making it an enjoyable album in its own right. Best of all, the lead track, 'Hard Act to Follow', is an endearing piece of unrelenting, rhythmic melody, penned by Tim Finn, which should have been a major new wave hit. While the song received some AOR air play in parts of the US and Canada (notably, it was one of Split Enz's most played songs on our main local rock station in Montreal in the early 1980s), for some mysterious reason, it was nearly ignored in the band's Australasian home turf. However, the more mainstream, yet still strong Neil Finn compositions, 'One Step Ahead' and 'History Never Repeats', did become big hit singles down-under (the former also a moderate hit in Canada, and the latter on the US mainstream rock chart). The album also contains one of Split Enz's most dignified instrumental compositions, 'Albert of India', and continues with some of True Colours' playful use of synthesizers and humours lyrics, notably with the quirky and enticing 'Clumsy'. Other songs that deserve and received some attention include 'Iris' and 'I Don't Want to Dance', though beyond these (and others aforementioned), the material may be a little thin, or at least less interesting, to most audiences. Waiata went platinum in Australasia and gold in Canada, and there are enough strong tracks on the album to consider it a good effort even if it generally does not break any new grounds (and Hard Act to Follow still stands as one my favourite under-appreciated Split Enz tunes).
filster8 | 3/5 |


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