ALBUM: “Changing Colours” by Babe Rainbow
RELEASE YEAR: 2021
LABEL: Eureka Music
BEST TRACKS: “New Zealand Spinach,” “Rainbow Rock” and “The Wind”
In the sea of Australian psychedelic rock bands, Babe Rainbow will always stand out to me as the most dreamy. You may recognize their hit song “Peach Blossom Boogie,” a track that testifies to their talent in surfy doo-wop type music. However, their newest album, “Changing Colours,” has a nice range to it. It’s obvious that they are just beginning to branch out from their classic sound.
“Changing Colours” is the sunny beach rockers’ fourth album. Just by listening to this release alone, it’s clear to see where they get their inspiration: nature, weed and surfing. Hailing from Byron Bay, the foursome is known for their signature dream-like melodies. Though their membership has changed considerably since the band’s start in 2014, they’ve stayed relatively true to this style.
But it seems like Babe Rainbow is dipping their toe into the pool of possibilities. Their popular single “Imagination,” which is included on this album, features Jaden Smith. A definite stretch away from the band’s usual rhythm, if you ask me. This particular track, which appears to be inspired by “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” does have that signature relaxing tone, but Jaden’s spoken word takes it to new levels.
Speaking of the early ’70s, listening to both “California” and “New Zealand Spinach” feels like being transported back to that glorious musical era, especially in the latter. Guitarist Jack Crowther takes on a twangier sound, creating sounds reminiscent of Woodstock. Meanwhile, “Ready for Tomorrow” and “Rainbow” Rock” stray into the funk realm, providing a glimpse into just how upbeat these mellow hippies can be.
Though “Changing Colours” is a great album, you can sense the shift the band is going through. The last song, “Different Stages of Life,” confirms this. It’s nice to see a new voice from them, but it feels like they’re fighting against it in an attempt to preserve their loyal, serene fanbase.
Babe Rainbow, I say just go for it.