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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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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A frustrating album to listen to and to review, 'Second Thoughts' represents a serious misstep in SPLIT ENZ's career. I wish they'd had such thoughts about issuing this record.

Problem is, it takes some of the less worthy tracks from their early antipodean singles, combines them with tracks re-recorded from their wonderful debut album and adds three new songs to make what was supposed to be their northern hemisphere breakthrough album. The band is undoubtedly talented, but the music is lightweight and steered in the direction of sales. The opening track is sub-standard pop, and the first of the remade tracks, 'Walking Down a Road' is a ghastly reinterpretation of the original. To complete their transformation to art-rock band the guitars are replaced by sax. Ick. 'Titus' is just dreadful: go listen to the original on 'Mental Notes' and ask yourself why they worked so hard to make the song so much worse. And so on. The excellent 'Stranger than Fiction' is mutilated by the re-recording, losing any impact it once had in this shambolic reinterpretation. The record sounds like an unenthusiastic SPLIT ENZ tribute band.

Thing is, had we not heard the originals, this would have been a perfectly acceptable, if underwhelming, album. But we did hear the originals, and none of these are improvements. This album does not represent the band's ability. Despite all this, the album was named by Sounds magazine as best debut album for 1976. Shame the mag didn't hear the original 'Mental Notes'.

russellk | 2/5 |


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