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Split Enz - Time and Tide CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

3.71 | 26 ratings

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Moogtron III
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Okay, to be quite clear: this is not a progressive rock album in the sense that we know it. Crossover prog? No, that's a good tag for the debut twin albums Mental Notes and Second Thoughts. After these albums, Split Enz began to specialize in writing pop / rock songs with a lot of originality. The Finn brothers were becoming better and better songsmiths, and like a real Lennon and McCartney, they kept each other in balance, and Time And Tide is their finest hour together as songwriters.

Not only for the Finn brothers: keyboardist Eddie Rayner, more than once responsible for a great instrumental track on the album, penned down a magnificent dreamy all keyboard fantasy called Pioneer for the album.

Also a specialty of the Enz: an original rhythm section. Split Enz was a band which aimed to be original, and they kept on doing that for the rest of their career. Like Neil Finn once said: Split Enz wanted to be good at doing songs in an original way, Crowded House (Neils next band) wanted to be good in doing songs in a traditional way.

Why is Time And Tide the best post-progressive Split Enz album?

1. Strong compositions, for one thing. It looks as if Tim and Neil Finn are challenging each other in writing good songs. Not all the songs are brilliant, but they're all good.

2. Also, there's coherence. Their next album, Conflicting Emotions, with the well known hit single Message To My Girl, shows a band in disintegration. Tim Finn will leave the band after that album. There was a fraction too much friction in the band, as is the title of one of his solo hits. But Time And Time shows the band at its best.

3. Imaginative lyrics. Neil sings about a very tall woman and the embarrassment and admiration that he experiences (Hello Sandy Allen), Tim wonders why this world is like an ants' nest, full of non stop activity (Never Ceazes To Amaze Me), and Tim also offers a song which would score very high as it comes to originality: he tells of his life in a song, giving details like the date of his birth, how much he weighed when he was born, etc., all to the background of an English folk song (Haul Away).

4. Variety. For instance: Eddie's dreamy Pioneer is followed by Tim's jubilant Six Months In A Leaky Boat (for a while a very controversial song in English politics: it was during the Falkland War, and some even assumed that Tim was ridiculing the English fleet!), and Tim's folky Haul Away is followed by Neil's dark and brooding Log Cabin Fever.

Not a prog record in the strict sense of the word, but an original sounding, melodious album, which would appeal at least a significant minority of prog fans. And the compositions are top notch. I enjoyed the album a lot, and listened to it many times.

Moogtron III | 4/5 |


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