Colin Hay Band

Wayfaring Sons

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After Men at Work broke up in the mid-'80s, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Colin Hay continued as a solo artist. Looking for Jack -- credited to Colin James Hay -- was issued in 1987, but then he formed the Colin Hay Band and eventually released Wayfaring Sons in 1990. His new band included violinist/mandolinist Gerry Hale, bass guitarist Paul Gadsby, and drummer Robert Dillon. Wayfaring Sons is an intriguing album. It's rooted more in Celtic and folk music than the new wave and pub rock flavors of Men at Work, and this new direction is evident with the violin and jangly acoustic guitar on the title track. Hay's music still sounds bright; he's just using different tools to achieve it. The most Men at Work-like song here is "Into My Life." "Dream On (In the Night)" rests on Hay's warm, throaty singing burr and jittery percussion, bass guitar, and violin lines. The most notable part of "Not So Lonely" is the Gaelic background vocals. "Don't Drink the Water" is the album's highlight; it's a very Police-like ska/reggae song with cheeky, ecology-based lyrics. Hay actually permits himself to take an electric guitar solo on "Help Me," a mid-tempo pop song with more environment-themed lyrics, told from Earth's point of view. "Back in My Loving Arms" is a soothing, pleasant tune. Unfortunately, Wayfaring Sons was not a commercial success. Even Men at Work would have had problems in 1990, being sandwiched between the tail end of hair metal's heyday and the looming grunge scene. Fans of Hay's distinctive singing will enjoy Wayfaring Sons, and Men at Work followers should give it a listen.

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