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Spins: Colin Hay • Going Somewhere – 20th Anniversary Reissue

| June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Colin Hay

Going Somewhere

(Compass)

The collapse of Men at Work was the end of stadium-level stardom for Colin Hay, but it left an open door. Hay stepped through that door and persevered through hard times to rebuild his brand as a respected guitarist, master storyteller, and unparalleled songsmith. True, Hay’s career as a New Wave-era frontman gave the world entertaining hits like “Who Can it Be Now” and “Down Under,” and the band’s popular peak included thought-provoking fare like “Overkill” and “It’s a Mistake.” But if Hay had only written intimate and confessional solo songs including Topanga’s “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” and Transcendental Highway’s “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You,” he would still merit standing among the finest popular singer-songwriters of the 20thand 21stcenturies.

Compass celebrates Hay’s solo work with this 20thanniversary reissue and debut vinyl release of 2000’s Going Somewhere, pressing a limited edition onto white vinyl. The album is acoustically focused, designed to mirror the sound of Hay’s intimate solo performances. It’s an expression of musical zen, with Hay’s deft melodies adorned only by his beautifully played guitar and expressive vocal. The original 13-song running order included several songs reinterpreted from Hay’s earlier solo albums. This reissue omits Looking for Jack’s “Children on Parade” and “Circles Erratica,” Transcendental Highway’s “My Brilliant Feat,” and “I Don’t Know Why.”

The remaining songs serve as a refined primer of Hay’s second act as a folk artist, while adding the chin-up sadness and resignation of masterpiece “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You.” “Looking for Jack” casts Jack Nicholson as an elusive metaphor of satisfaction. The singer longs for “someday, someday” while striving to shed nostalgia. The trouble is, Jack is an unattainable myth even to himself. “Even Jack is always looking for Jack,” sings Hay. “He’s always in another room.” “Water Song” describes true love lost. “Oh, how blind some people can be,” sings Hay. Hay is haunted by the absence of “Maggie,” a lover from youthful days taken too soon. The song doesn’t explicitly name whether the thief was disease or suicide, but a palpable ache is present in either case.

Hay is happier with his wanderlust as a troubadour during “Wayfaring Sons.” The relatable “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” will resonate with any dreamer still longing to transcend the mundane. The lilting “Beautiful World” is a hypnotic and blissful mantra about embracing life and fully experiencing simple pleasures in defiance of a chaotic world.

– Jeff Elbel

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