True Colours, New Colours - The Songs Of Split Enz

Various Artists

True Colours, New Colours - The Songs Of Split Enz

True Colours, the fifth album from New Zealand art-pop outfit Split Enz, saw them turn the critical acclaim afforded their first four LPs into commercial success. Recorded in Melbourne after an extended period living in the UK, during which the band amassed somewhere between 40 and 50 songs, crucially it also marked the songwriting ascendence of guitarist/vocalist Neil Finn, who wrote the album’s biggest hit, “I Got You.” (The lion’s share of the writing, though, remained with older brother Tim.) Just over 40 years after its release, the album–which topped the charts on both sides of the Tasman—is reinterpreted by a slew of New Zealand and Australian artists. While some play it straight (Auckland outfit The Beths maintain the indie quirk of “What’s the Matter With You”; Bernard Fanning’s acoustic take on “I Hope I Never” maintains the fragility of the original), others opt for reinvention–witness Chelsea Jade’s dream-pop interpretation of the frenetic “Shark Attack,” Stan Walker’s reggae-laced approach to “Poor Boy,” and Robinson’s stripped-back, poignant take on “How Can I Resist Her.” The very fact that such disparate reinterpretations resonate is perhaps the biggest tribute of all.

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