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Split Enz - Second Thoughts [Aka: Mental Notes] CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

2.87 | 28 ratings

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4 stars An awkward album to review considering, four songs are reproduced Mental Notes tracks, of these you'll notice that Rob Gillies brass replaced Wilkinson's guitars. Although I prefer the guitars, Rob Gillies Saxs and trumpets make the music a little more idiosyncratic while Wilkinson at times sounds more like Hackett. The reasons for the four Mental Notes tracks are: 1. As a whole, Enz were dissappointed by the production of Mental Notes 2. This was actually called Mental Notes in the northern hemisphere, complete with an altered original Mental Notes cover. Phil Judd was against the idea of rehashing Mental Notes material, and I agree I would much rather here some more of their immense load of early unrecorded music. While Tim wanted the Mental Note songs just right. This controvery leaves me in a difficult position reviewing this album, If Mental Notes did not exist this would easily be a 4-5 star rating. One of its main strengths is that their is more of a return to the earlier idiosyncratic sound and less Symphonic sound I think. I believe Enz thrived on their vaudiville idiosyncracies, I sounds more natural, rather than the symphonic style; which at times sounds a little forced. I do like Manzenera's production style he cared more about the music than the previous less sympathetic one. The never songs are all little gems. Sweet Dreams is a classic one of Judd's finest moments, I first heard this actually on a video of theirs years ago, Its a great piece with a chaotic keyboard trumpet piece. Lovy Dovy is another brilliant track quite different from the single version that is available on Beginnings of the Enz. The Women who Loves You has a classic Noel Crombie spoon solo, while Matinee Idyll features former member Miles Golding on Violin (whom they met up in Britain, playing for the symphony orchestra over there). Late Last Night starts off quiet and jazzy, but then becomes a more popier but with this clumsy, goofy, innocent sound - this is what I love about Enz they make you happy but they don't have a hateful bone in their body, and are harmless. One could gravitate from a three star to a five star on this album, depending your views on the comparison with Mental Notes. I'm giving it a four assuming you haven't heard Mental Notes, but like I said if you own Mental Notes you might be tempted to give this or Mental Notes a three. Personally altrhough I prefer Mental Notes, I think this album is better, because, as I mentioned earlier Rob Gillies brings the band back to a more natural unique fell and definately contributes more to the madness while Wilkenson makes them more typoical sounding. Secondly the production quality is infinately better. Thirdly this CD has Sweet Dreams on it, one of Judd's finest moments in my opinion. Four stars from me, but an awkward album to review.
Cheesecakemouse | 4/5 |


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