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Split Enz - Time and Tide CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

3.71 | 26 ratings

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5 stars Aaahhh, the voyage that is a life .... If you've an open mind to the poppier side of prog, this album is a masterpiece. While I usually find song-by-song reviews a bit much, this is an album that calls for that process, so let's board the ship & explore, shall we. Dirty Creature - Don't let the 80s oblique pop dance sound fool you, this song has a serious way in opening the album. Tim Finn sets us off on the voyage with a nightmare put to music. Though the verses may remind you of some cringing 80s instrumentation, the chorus (I don't want to sail , I don't want to sail tonight) sounds like a more mainstream melody from Peter Gabriel 3rd album. Keep an ear open to Rayner's keyboard work, which is filled with prog sounds. An eerie way to set you off asea. Giant Heartbeat - Again the song starts with a typical 80s sound. But once more, the "poppish" bedrock is built upon with counterpoint melodies provided keyboard & bass. Neil Finn's lyrics makes this an Enz' version of Floyd's Time. "Sun up sun down fade to a lookalike, Hearts & souls move together in time". "Is anybody listening, a giant's heartbeat is fading". Again, Rayner's keyboard work is mesmerizing. But always backed by solid ensemble playing ! Hello Sandy Allen - This one harks back to their True Colours & Waiata new wave sound. A sunny melody to the verse, with some sombreness showing through on the chorus. I still can't figure out for sure if they're pitying the world's tallest woman or themselves by comparison. In summary - poppy, but enough changes to prog it up. Again, a close listen to the ensemble playing reveals much resides below the surface. Never Ceases to Amaze Me - New wavish melody, with guitar & keyboard sounds we all associate for the early 80s. Sunny song, then the chorus come along and once more the senior Finn injects the melancholy - " Happiness is a broken heart away, but you get caught up because it's worth the risk. Never ceases to amaze me". Lost for Words - A more choppy darker song structure than usual for the Enz, somewhat recalling their early work with Judd. Simply put, the singer is lost & looking for ? The group playing comes through & holds much pleasure for those that put in the effort to discern the textures on display. Peter Gabriel would have killed to be able to have come up with something this off-kilter but hummable. Small World - Slow & seemingly simple song. But it is a perfect backing for a sad song about ? Is he singing about the demis of the environment or is it more related to peoples' relation to each other - person to person or nation to nation ? Dreamy atmospheric playing by the group really completes the sense of quiet but not quite despair that permeates this one. Side one ends. Take a Walk - Probably one of my favourite Neil Finn & Split Enz tunes. Ready for the travels, time is now. Again, for a "pop" group the band keeps it interesting with changes between the verse & chorus. Here we see Split Enz' happy verse, melancholy chorus pattern that works so well in establishing or maybe murkying up the mood - is this a sunny song or is it more threatening in nature - " remember what a friend of mine said - You gotta be kind." Pioneer - Musical intro to a 3 song suite that comprises the heart of the album. Recalling at once sunny days & rainy skies, then we go on to ... Six months in a Leaky Boat - Youth & its attendant hopes & brashness. If big hits were determined by the intelligence of the lyrics, this hit single for the Enz would rank among the best. Young & daring the world to prepare for one's combats. Simple song structure, and I must say, until I saw Tim Finn solo, I could not grasp that it consisted of a few simple chords on an acoustic. Rayner again adds his keyboard delights, not as ego soloist, but as ensemble partner. We're taken away asea once more, full of hope, & dreaming of happiness ... then comes the more honest reality .... Haul Away - Tim tells us of the tides that have brought him here. Probably the most prog of songs on the album, we're taken through a short summary of Tim's life, birth through boarding school, time to travel through odyssey begun, nervous breakdown to help from friends, all we can do we do & get through. A bit of a celtic jig redone in a more modern manner. How's Tim feeling ... Log Cabin Fever - Things turn dark, times are bleak, lost at sea or in a sea of humanity ? 80s Genesis should have been so lucky as to write such a prog pop mini symphony ! Mid song, the band breaks out rocking for the end chorus - Log Cabin Fever , It's a Remote Possibility. A play on words for meaning, again lend your ears for the feast of sounds put together. Are things getting better .... Make Sense of It - Driving world beat tuneage. Breakdown chorus - are things so dark, but then are you really the only one ? "You realize you're not the only one, who's trying to make some sense of it". Never mind INXS, what you need is a friend - to help you make sense of it. Whew, I did as Sean Trane suggested & listened to the album as I wrote. Went through a little of my life's journey as I went along. Aaaahhhh, the voyage that is one's life.
debrewguy | 5/5 |


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