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Colin Hay

American Sunshine

(Compass; US: 18 Aug 2009; UK: 24 Aug 2009)

American Sunshine marks the tenth record and twenty-second year of Colin Hay’s solo career, far outstripping his Men at Work output. Granted, it’s the Men at Work hits he’s best known for, but that doesn’t seem to bother Hay (he seems to have looked back only once, with 2003’s Man at Work, where he re-recorded some of his former band’s hits). Throughout his solo career, Hay has specialized in agreeable, comfortable pop rock in the better sense of the words, and it’s safe to say he’s been getting better as he goes. American Sunshine continues the affable, relaxed vibe that served him so well on 2007’s Are You Looking at Me? (probably due, in no small part, to the genesis of many songs in a whirlwind series of Nashville recording sessions). “Oh, California” muses on the disillusionment that some people find in what’s promised to be a sun-drenched promised land, “The End of Wilhelmina” is an interesting character sketch, and “Baby Can I See You Tonight?” looks for love in the midst of economic turmoil. Hay seems to have found his niche, and it’s working well for him.


Andrew Gilstrap is a freelance writer living in South Carolina, where he's able to endure the few weeks each year that it's actually freezing (swearing a vow that if he ever moves, it'll be even farther south). Aging into a fine curmudgeon whose idea of heaven is 40 tree-covered acres away from the world, he increasingly wishes he were part of a pair of twins, just so he could try being the kinda evil one on for size. Musically, he's always scouring records for that one moment that makes him feel like he's never heard music before, but he long ago realized he needs to keep his copies of John Prine, Crowded House, the Replacements, Kate Bush, and Tom Waits within easy reach.

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