SPLIT ENZ; TRUE COLOURS AND MENTAL NOTES, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2023): The people have spoken, some critics too . . .

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SPLIT ENZ; TRUE COLOURS AND MENTAL NOTES, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2023): The people have spoken, some critics too . . .

The actor Sam Neill wouldn't be among the first people you'd go to for comment on popular music. But his article in Grant Smithies' 2011 book Soundtrack: 118 Great New Zealand Albums on his favourite album -- Split Enz' True Colours -- probably captured what many feel about it.

“Some records, the best ones, are time machines – portals to another place and another life. True Colours is that for me,” he wrote.

True Colours, released in 1980, was a career changing, commercial and songwriting watershed for Split Enz which captured Sam's imagination and heart . . . and those in AudioCulture's audience who voted it top of the survey to find the classic New Zealand album.

They remind me of days gone by, of discovering myself to the background of this music,” wrote Grant.

“The music relates to a particular time of my life,” said Kay. “19 years old, at Teacher's College, first year flatting, becoming more adult and independent. Music makes connections to time and place and they were good times.”

Jasmine summed up a common experience: “It's my first Kiwi album that I bought myself at 14 years old. A lot of good memories listening to it with friends and family”.

True Colours was smart pop, a heartfelt ballad and constrained quirkiness which have endured when many other albums haven't.

“It's just a classic,” said Kayla. “I used to listen to it on repeat as a kid in the 2000s even though it was a good 20 years after its release. I think we even sang one of their songs at primary school assemblies.”

It was also an album which vindicated the loyalty and emotional investment many here – who'd followed Enz' highs, lows and revolving door membership – had in a band which we thought of with first-name familiarity . . .

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To read the rest of this article go to Audioculture here.

Audioculture is the self-described Noisy Library of New Zealand Music and is an ever-expanding archive of stories, scenes, artists, clips and music. Elsewhere is proud to have some small association with it. Check it out here.

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