Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Split Enz - Second Thoughts [Aka: Mental Notes] CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

2.87 | 28 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars During an Australian tour, dear friend Manzarena (Roxy) was so impressed by the band on stage that he convinced them to come over in the UK to pursue their career. It won't turn out as they would have wished, but they decided that the adventure was worth.

The first sign of their passage on English soil was the recording of this album. Actually, this is the UK version of their "Mental Notes" which was released in Australia a year before this one. Almost half of the songs appeared on both albums.

These four songs were re-arranged (not always for the best I must say). To have replaced the lead guitarist by a sax player was not a great idea IMO. It gives a soul aspect to the ensemble that was not worth ("Walking Down A Road"). Again, the brass section at the end of "Titus" is hard to bear.

My favourite song from "Mental Notes" was "Stranger Than Fiction". A rock opera on its own in its original format. Completely massacred here. What a poor treat! The fourth one being "Time For A Change" (?). While it featured fine mellotron originally, it is slightly downsized here. Still, it is the best of this album (together with "Late Last Night" and The Woman...).

Now, about the "new" songs.

Actually, there are only three of them here:

"Late Last Night" is fully in line with their incomparable and crazy sound; this time there is no hesitation. The arrangements, the mood changes, indescribable vocals: all of these remind the early "10CC" seriously.

"Sweet Dreams" has its good and bad. Again the sax is dominant and gives an air of "Young Americans" to the whole. It's a pity, because I'm sure that the band could have produced a far much better version in their original line-up than what is available here.

"Matinee Idyl" is also original. Again the "10CC" shadow is there. Very much in the style of "Late Last Night". Another good song.

The last two ones came from the "Mental Notes" sessions but were rejected at the time.

"Lovey Dovey" is a light and funny song. Full of strange sounds. Definitely a track to listen with headphones (as most of their debut ones). This being said, it is not a great tune. The long "The Woman Who Loves You" ranges to the good moments here as well. Fine melody, funny text, stirring piano, theme changes. A rather creative track.

At this early time of their career, their lead singer will leave the band after this recording (actually he became uncontrollable on stage). You shouldn't bother with this release. Stick to the earlier one: it is full of frenzy, craziness, originality. This one is weaker. No wonder that it didn't draw the attention of European audiences.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this SPLIT ENZ review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.