Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Four CDs chronicling New Zealand-grown pop music.

As is the way with compilations, I found it a bit hit and miss. Here are a few random feelings that I've jotted down along the way.

Disc 1:

#1 Tihore Mai by Moana & The Tribe - features some beautiful harmonising in te reo Māori. If only this wasn't so short. Great tui birds too!

#2 Give It A Whirl by Split Enz (even eight years after moving to the country, still one of the few groups who I've really heard of) - contains some great positive lyrics.

"Remember taking a ride on a ferris wheel,
And really enjoying yourself - bye bye blues.
Remember taking a bet on a race,
You faced the future with a smile on your face - win or lose.
No, I don't mean to preach, I don't mean to patronise,
There's a thrill you'll never know if you never try."

#5 Why Does Love Do This To Me? by The Exponents - well, can anyone hear this catchy tune now without fond memories of the RWC? :)

#6 How Bizarre by OMC - I found strangely reminiscent of several other tracks I've heard this decade. How bizarre.

#7 Taller Than God by Strawpeople (don't start an argument about them) - sounded ethereal.

Disc 2:

#2 Likewise Get Some Sleep by Bic Runga sounded oddly familiar.

#11 Bathe In The River by Hollie Smith - I think I played this on the radio once.

#13 Swing by Savage. Nice… erm… err… title? Yes, the title's nice.

#16 Maybe Tomorrow by Goldenhorse - In 2004 I heard them perform this live twice in the same week!

Disc 3:

#1 Poi E by Patea Maori Club - is a great footstomping opening to the disc, again in te reo.

#8 Violent by Stellar* (who always leave you expecting more) - I just loved this track's sound.

#15 She's A Mod by Ray Columbus & The Invaders - must surely be a classic. So this is how it felt in the sixties to hear a new single for the first time.

Disc 4:

In contrast to the preceding three, blimey this last disc is depressing. Really - why even bother?

Overall, I had started listening to this collection expecting to catch up on music that I was unfamiliar with, but having lived 'in' New Zealand for most of this century / millennium, some of this surprised me by actually packing the desired nostalgia kick. I found I was exclaiming "I remember that!" like a local. I wish there were years on volume one's sleeve notes, like on volume two. All in all, this made disc two my favourite of the four discs.

No wonder Mr Four Square looks so happy above - he's obviously playing discs one, two and three!

Available here.

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