Icehouse's most successful album, Man of Colours
was a huge hit in Australia, along with its accompanying singles, yet it really is no great shakes.
"Crazy" and "Electric Blue" set things going, demonstrating Iva Davies' knack for melody (when he puts his mind to it) and streamlined production, before "Nothing Too Serious" gives it a rockier edge, and then the dreamy, haunting ballad "Man of Colours" slows things down.
However, what follows is pretty much a repeat of all that, minus the ballad. Nearly all the other songs are steady pop, following the same pattern of calm verses, before the predictable, louder choruses, interrupted by "Anybody's War", which is the "Nothing Too Serious" of the second side.
That's not to say that the latter songs are particularly worse than the first, rather that, by the time we get to them, the format has been well and truly worn out. Indeed, if you played the album the other way around, it would probably be the Side One songs that got tiresome. Davies' writing just seems to be in auto mode.
The material's all very well played, and Iva's voice is as lovely as ever, but Man of Colours
is certainly not the best album to be released under the Icehouse banner. True, the band never really offered great variety from one album to the next anyway, but this one in particular is decent, routine, and, if it wasn't for the singles which are still played on Australian radio from time to time, quite forgettable. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor