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True Colours – Split Enz

Split Enz True Colours

True Colours

(1980), 7.5/10
On True Colours Split Enz reunited with ‘I See Red’ producer David Tickle, who’d previously engineered hits by Blondie and The Knack. The 20 year old Tickle provided the group with state of the art production, stripping back their sound to simpler rhythms and arrangements, and pulling the previously arty, insular group into the mainstream.

The hit from the album was Neil’s ‘I Got You’; its “I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened” chorus was a deserved chart topper in New Zealand and Australia, and successful in Canada and the UK. ‘Poor Boy’ benefits the most from the stripped down sound with the synth bleeps emphasising its extra-terrestrial subject matter, while piano ballad ‘I Hope I Never’, about Tim’s relationship with Judd, is pretty and tuneful. The group’s sound veers close to power pop on songs like ‘Shark Attack’ and ‘What’s The Matter With You’.

True Colours isn’t my favourite Split Enz album; the lack of detail and personality compared to some of their other work makes it a middle of the pack Split Enz album, and the hits are its most notable feature. But it provided a group that needed success with record sales, and the hits hold up well.

For more on this album, read

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