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Split Enz - Second Thoughts (AKA Mental Notes) CD (album) cover

SECOND THOUGHTS (AKA MENTAL NOTES)

Split Enz

 

Crossover Prog

2.87 | 14 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

hippocampus
4 stars Imagine the scene, suburban London, November 1977. Supposedly Punk rules and Prog Rock is dead. I turn on the television, BBC2, Sight and Sounds in concert and there is this 7 piece band dressed in harlequined zoot suits and with outrageous hair stylings, percussionist, trumpet and saxophone as well as standard instruments. They are playing an energetic prog rock with vaudeville overtones. One friend described it as Supertramp on acid; not quite right but I saw what he meant. Roxy Music, Genesis, Sargeant Pepper,Jethro Tull all in there somewhere but it is a unique sound. Later that evening I go to a party and there is a bloke there in a black and red quartered jacket and his hair fashioned into a spike just like the guitarist in the band I had been watching on telly. This guy is a Split Enz nut and next week with a couple of other friends we venture up to the Roundhouse to see the band themselves. These guys were absolutely awesome live. I doubt I've seen a better band in a small venue. Tim Finn was barnstorming, a brilliant vocalist, and the playing was tight, dynamic, varied, exciting; an unbelievable gig. Second thoughts (Mental Notes in the UK) is my favourite album of theirs (just) and they played a few songs from it that night including the live show stopper "the woman who loves you" complete with spoon solo from Noel Crombie the barking mad percussionist and art director for the band.Other highlights on the album include "Late last night" which starts like some sort of Cole Porter song but ends with a demented piano solo and a maelstrom of sax and trumpet. "Titus" is a beautiful little song with a wonderful trumpet solo. "Sweet dreams" is my all time favourite Split Enz song not usually included on compilations; fabulous driving acoustic guitar, stunning lyrics, great sax solo and touching, quiet coda evocative of the misery of a unrequited love. The album is not uniformly brilliant and I only give 5 stars grudgingly, but it well woth 4."Stranger than fiction/time for a change can drag if you are not in the mood but they still have their moments. But I would recommend it to anyone. If you think the Finn Brothers are just pop singers, which of course they can be and brilliant ones too, check out this album and Dizrythmia and be surprised!
hippocampus | 4/5 |

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