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Colin Hay

The voice sounds hauntingly familiar, betraying a slight hint of a reggae lilt and a casual charm. That's not surprising considering Scottish-born Colin Hay's tenure at the helm of Men at Work, an Aussie outfit whose relentlessly catchy hits — "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under" chief among them — gained them a tenacious lock on the Top 40 charts during the early '80s. The band's quirky new wave panache and goofy MTV videos contributed to its off-kilter image, but it was Hay's spunky vocals that formed the core of its sound. Radio handed Men at Work their pink slips in the mid-'80s, but Men's main man soldiered on, releasing a string of solo albums that found him refocusing his sound on journeyman narratives and emotional outflow. Those looking for a quick Hay replay might want to check out 2003's Man at Work, a set of rerecorded tunes that draw on the band's catalog and his own formative solo songs. Better yet, grab a copy of his 2001 effort, Going Somewhere, his best disc to date, or his latest, Are You Lookin' at Me?, a collection of autobiographical ruminations that document the winding trajectory that's taken him from Down Under to the top of his game.


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