By Edd Hurt
From Nashville Scene | Original Article
Former Men at Work leader Colin Hay doesn’t do anything fancy on his new full-length, Next Year People — the Scottish-born singer-songwriter and guitarist relies on sturdy folk-rock acoustic guitars and his warm, unaffected vocals to convey his insights about time, regret and memory. Next Year People is a step forward from Hay’s fine 2011 full-length, Gathering Memory, and I value Hay’s directness, as demonstrated on the record’s title track: “We’re creatures of habit, don’t you know / One day we’ll reap what we sow.” A California resident since the late ’80s, Hay makes light pop with hooks and a nice feel for the way life’s significant moments can slip by unnoticed — “Scattered in the Sand” is a moving but unsentimental song about loss. In less skillful hands, Hay’s songs might sound sententious, but his sincerity saves the day.