Local Wire

Colin Hay

The downside of achieving massive success is becoming typecast. After leaving the airwaves, many of the original Star Trek cast found it difficult to secure work because of their association with the series; Chumbawamba has a 20-year career but is remembered by most for "Tubthumping"; and, despite having appeared in many TV shows and films and releasing nine solo albums, Colin Hay is still "just" the singer of Men At Work and their 1980s hit "Who Can It Be Now." But Hay's not about to let the past weigh him down, as even a passing listen to his new album, Are You Lookin' At Me (Compass) will substantiate. He's not competing with current hitmakers or riding a nostalgia wave. Lookin' consists of relaxed, eloquent, and melodious folk and R&B-tinged rock 'n' roll (à la The Band, early '70s Rod Stewart), sung by a fellow who's been around the block a few times. In the ephemeral, goofy world of pop music, one of the most difficult tricks to pull off is aging gracefully. Colin Hay does that with such matter-of-fact class you'll likely not notice.
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Mark Keresman