While Colin Hay's voice and visage are familiar to millions as front-man, songwriter, and vocalist of pop sensations Men at Work ("Down Under," "Overkill," "Who Can It Be Now?"), the past ten years have found him quietly r... more »e-introducing himself to a new generation of fans. The frequent uses of his music in film and TV have proven the timeless appeal of his songs: quizzical, curious, cynical yet open-hearted. AMERICAN SUNSHINE is a multifaceted portrait of Colin Hay the performer, songwriter, and recording artist.« less
While Colin Hay's voice and visage are familiar to millions as front-man, songwriter, and vocalist of pop sensations Men at Work ("Down Under," "Overkill," "Who Can It Be Now?"), the past ten years have found him quietly re-introducing himself to a new generation of fans. The frequent uses of his music in film and TV have proven the timeless appeal of his songs: quizzical, curious, cynical yet open-hearted. AMERICAN SUNSHINE is a multifaceted portrait of Colin Hay the performer, songwriter, and recording artist.
"America (and especially California) is Colin Hay's Australian Dream. Not for nothing is this album titled American Sunshine. It's pastoral, bright, and well put together. An American band might use the term cynically or ironically, but for Colin Hay, it's exactly what he means.
Hay's last album, the excellent Are You Lookin' At Me?, found him exploring different musical styles while growing comfortable as a singer-songwriter. Here, he embraces that role completely, creating a tapestry of finely written songs of varying tempos, with his trademark witty lyrics ("I'm pleased to almost meet you/The pleasure's almost mine"), couched in an acoustic bed that creates a pastoral setting for Hay's musings.
While there's not an "Overkill" in the bunch, there are several very good songs, including "I Came Into Your Store," "Broken Love," and "The End of Wilhemena." It works very well as an album, even if his last release overall had better songs. Where that album worked as an exploration of Hay's own psyche, this one's more about romantic life in America. And of course, Hay's voice is as strong as ever, interpreting the material with warmth and occasional sharpness.
It's a good album. Not the best you'll ever hear, but definitely worth a listen. In some ways, it suggests a happier Graham Parker. It'll grow on you."
This CD is good, not great
Mickey K. Thompson | Bethlehem, PA | 08/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love Colin Hay. I like American Sunshine but I have to say that "California," "There's Water Over You," and "I Came Into Your Store" are much better live and acoustic than with the arrangements on the album. I guess it really is unfair to saddle Colin with only being an acoustic and solo musician, but I think the more produced Colin is, the less authentic the sound is.
So, if you are a Colin Hay fan, do purchase the album. If you had the chance to see him in concert in the Summer of 2009, don't be too disappointed when you start hearing instruments other than the guitar coming through your speakers."
American Sunshine - A Diverse Blend of Quality Music
Tom G. Duvall | 08/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This release from Colin Hay is probably his best. The music covers a lot of territory from the driving rocker Pleased to almost meet you, to the country twang of Broken Love, and the captivating Oh California. The cd has a wonderful blend of many music genres. Among the best is There's water over you. A song reckoning back to Hay's childhood. With it's smooth guitar and gentle drums it is a soothing tonic for anyones ears. No Time has the most pop sounding hook on the cd making it quite catchy. Baby, Can I see you tonight? has Colin playing stripped down with just him and guitar. This song ranks right up there as one of his best with any of his other acoustic numbers. The American Sunshine instrumental was a bit too lackluster for me though and The end of Wilhelmina was just average. Overall, American Sunshine has been very pleasing to listen to as I have been unable to take it out of my cd player since I purchased it."
Too much 'studio musician flare' not enough Colin Hay?
Stan Horstman | Northern California | 11/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this album to show my support for Colin Hay. I heard Willamina and was excited. Listening to the rest of the album I hear a nice diversity of songs with clean instrument mixes and lots of professional fills BUT I don't believe Colin Hay was put in the forefront enough musically and these were studio musicians- good and polished but not Colin.
If you can tell me it is Colin Hay playing lead guitar in the Joe Satriani like instrumental I will totally change this review. Slide solos, ebow, these things are distracting. As of now I feel he got into the studio, had a great time with some great talent and put together great songs that were too reflective of the other musicians abilities and direction.
The good news is he will take these songs and put his acoustic flare on them for solo performances so YouTube here I come for those. Studio engineer and musicians shame on you- Colin is the talent.
UPDATE: Another reviewer said the album 'grows on you'. It did. I am no longer hung up on all things NOT Colin Hay. I now appreciate the clean mixes, musical diversity and creativity on one album. There are so many 'gem' songs and Mr. Hay's chord progressions (very new and fresh) and awesome voice make this a must have. Everyone should have this. You don't have to know a thing about Men at Work or have seen that Scrubs episode, this album stands solidly on it's own. I was hung up because the album was not what I was expecting- I am now amazed it is so much more than I expected. "
Colin Hay deviates from the regular forumula...and succeeds
Noah J. Siegel | 09/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can you say about Colin Hay? A Scottish-Australian native, Hay has been playing music since the early 80's with his former group, Men @ Work. The broke apart in the late 90's (if I'm not mistaken), but Hay continued to put out solo albums and albums with different groups. His album Man @ Work was one of his best, and American Sunshine surpasses it.
You'll get the regular Colin Hay formula, focusing on peace, beauty, and great lyrics. However, in this album Hay experimented, making the music much brighter and more lively than a lot of previous work. Even in two or three of his songs, he experiments by going with a blues (Broken Love), country (I Can't Get Up Out of This Bed) a and light rock feel (Pleased to Almost Meet You).
Unfortunately, the album is short. At maximum, it's only about 45 minutes. However, this being said, the album features all original songs, nothing that has ever been in his previous albums. The final song on the disk is American Sunshine, but is interestingly an instrumental. It's orchestrated beauty, and when combined with the shorter length of the album, it creates a feeling of wanting more in the listener, while still keeping him or her satisfied with what was heard.
Colin Hay is one of the greatest artists that most people have never heard of, though most know at least one of his songs (about a certain Land Down Under). If you are a fan of Colin Hay, you should already have this album. If you don't have it, then you should not leave this page without buying it. If are new to listening to Hay, I can only advise you to buy it."