“Split Enz blossomed into one of the smartest pop bands since The Beatles” (ConnollyCo.com) and “found their place in new wave with True Colours, “signalling an end to this New Zealand export’s commercial anonymity” (ConnollyCo.com). They did so largely by “shedding the eccentricities and excesses of their past in favor of bright, highly memorable, Beatlesque pop” (Woodstra).
“The album leads with the quirky favorite I Got You” (ConnollyCo.com), which “marked Neil Finn’s emergence as a great songcraftsman” (ConnollyCo.com). The song was also “buoyed by a pioneering video (no surprise given the band’s artistic bent) and an awfully catchy hook” (ConnollyCo.com). “Both the single and the album stand as highpoints of the new wave era” (Woodstra).
“Despite not producing another hit, the album is chocked full of fine songwriting. Neil Finn contributes the Glass Onion-flavored What’s the Matter with You (a perennial favorite with fans) and the languid Missing Person (which references The Who in its chorus) ” (ConnollyCo.com).
“Brother Tim adds a strong ballad, I Hope I Never, characteristically wistful pop songs like Poor Boy, How Can I Resist Her and I Wouldn’t Dream of It, the irresistible Nobody Takes Me Seriously and the frenzied Shark Attack” (ConnollyCo.com).
“Rounding out the record, in lieu of filler, are two instrumentals: Rayner’s energized Double Happy and the group composition, The Choral Sea” (ConnollyCo.com).
“With True Colours, Split Enz moves into the elite corps of ‘new’ purveyors of pop that included Squeeze and XTC. What distinguishes the Enz from their peers is the choice of synthesizer over guitar as the lead instrument and a penchant for thoughtful pop or the occasional ballad. That and a genuine appreciation for their New Zealand roots make Split Enz a unique treat for pop fans, and True Colours an album that can hold its own with anything from the ‘80s” (ConnollyCo.com).
“Of interest to collectors, the album cover was issued in several different color variations and featured laser-etched vinyl as a preventive to counterfeiting (although its visual appeal was likely a factor as well)” (ConnollyCo.com).