Split Enz again employed David Tickle for Waiata, and a newly famous Tickle was more difficult to work with this time around. It’s easy to dismiss Waiata as an inferior version of True Colours, and it is a case of slightly diminishing returns, but it’s still a solid Split Enz album.
The biggest issue with Waiata is that some of Tim’s songs, such as ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’ and ‘Clumsy’, are awkward. But Tim does provide the strong opener ‘Hard Act To Follow’ while ‘Ghost Girl’ has a lilting melody. Neil’s impeccably solid here, supplying the singles with the power pop of ‘History Never Repeats’ and the gently slinking ‘One Step Ahead’, as well as the strong album track ‘Iris’. Rayner’s instrumental ‘Wail’ is also among the highlights from Waiata.
I have the 2006 version of Waiata, which changes the order of the track-listing significantly, and adds a strong b-side ‘In The Wars’.