Compass/Lazy Eye Records
Creative, Mature, Passionate and Smart Set of Songs.
I still blush at the thought of the last time I reviewed a Colin Hay album; thinking it was a ‘debut’ only to find the multi-award winning ex-singer with Rock Royalty Men at Work had already released 10 or so solo albums!
Baring in mind that fine pedigree opening track Come Tumblin’ Down is a slightly ‘ragged around the edges’ Celtic-Rocker, of the easy on the ear persuasion; not unlike Van Morrison on a good day.
Although Colin Hay first found fame in Australia and is now living in the USA his Scottish accent comes through on nearly every song; which might explain that ‘Celtic’ feel to The Best In Me and the slow burning Two Friends, which has more than a hint of Frankie Miller to it at times.
It’s no real surprise that a songwriter of Hay’s pedigree can write a good song; but this collection is way better than ‘good’!
In other, younger hands I’m Going to Get You Stoned could be a bit sleazy; but the way he puts his words across this becomes an ‘Autumnal love song’ that many of us can align with; or at least the sentiment.
‘Love’ and relationships are a thread that binds these songs together, with the timeless Secret Love and A Thousand Million Reasons being at the polar opposite of that spectrum; we may all have experienced a little bit of each at one time or another; and Hay’s lyrical prowess will make you sigh and smile at both for different reasons.
Colin Hay is not just a songwriter; but a storyteller too and a masterful one too, as Frozen Fields of Snow proves. The singer inhabits the character of a war veteran returning to the family home after outliving the rest of what appears to be an unhappy mix of family. Not quite as radio-friendly as most other tracks here; it does show what a vivid imagination Hay has.
My copy of the album is the Deluxe Version, with three extra tracks, and it’s one of these tracks, the break-up song Love Don’t Mean enough that just falls short of taking the ‘favourite track’ accolade.
That title goes to the heart-rending She Was The Love of Mine; which he wrote for his own Mother who died three years previously and even though my own mother died nearly 40 years ago, each line in his song took my breath away; such is his way with words.
After all these years it would be all too easy for Colin Hay to rest on his laurels somewhere warm and tropical; making the occasional foray to make a ‘covers album’; but no…..he still has ‘something to say’ and judging by this album it’s certainly worth listening to.
RELEASED March 3rd 2017