Man of Colours [Import Bonus Tracks]

by: Icehouse

On their fifth album, the smooth pop style of Australia's Icehouse is garnished with even more bouncy synthesizers and lavish melodies than their earlier work. Lead singer Iva Davies elaborated slant is immediately forthcoming in all the tunes on this album, but is truly the best working part behind the group. Man of Colours' first two tracks attached themselves to the Top 40, with "Crazy" peaking at number 17 in 1987 and "Electric Blue" reaching number seven in 1988, a song co-written by John Oates. After these two singles, the rest of the album becomes thin with keyboard -- crammed, syncopated rhythms jumping behind electric guitar that can barely be noticed. Even though the emphasis on keyboards is stereotypical of '80s pop, it's only after the third or fourth song that they grow overbearing, proving that they should have been used in moderate doses. Davies lyrics strain to be substantial, especially on "The Kingdom" and "Anybody's War," but fall short because of the meek support from the music enshrouding his polished voice. While the two singles are appealing, the rest of Man of Colours deems quite unnecessary. [An import version contained bonus tracks.] ~ Mike DeGagne

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