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Split Enz - Time and Tide CD (album) cover


Split Enz


Crossover Prog

3.71 | 26 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Along with 'True Colours', this is the highlight of SPLIT ENZ's 1980s new wave pop output. With this album, as much as their 1980 effort, the band produce something gorgeous that music lovers brave enough to discard genre labels ought to enjoy.

The album isn't quite a concept album, but it does employ a nautical theme. It opens with a bang, the up-front and funky 'Dirty Creature', a genuinely great pop track with substantial, harrowing lyrics. 'The river of dread runs deep/full of unspeakable things/the creature don't mess around/I don't wanna mess with him'. 'Lost for Words' is the nearest the band come to DEVO, and is followed by the encouragingly strong if enigmatic 'Giant Heartbeat.' We've moved away from the boy/girl preoccupation of the ENZ's 1981 misstep album 'Waiata', and by invoking a wider lyrical palette, they've re-energised their music. The undoubted highlight is the central song suite 'Pioneer/Six Months/Haul Away'. EDDIE RAYNER produces another strong instrumental, this one a prelude to the pop single 'Six Months in a Leaky Boat', boasting erudite lyrics - supposedly about New Zealand - coupled with a splendid melody and a definite nautical shading. A delicate outro leads to the sea shanty 'Haul Away', a diary entry of a song that manages to make sense of the previous songs: the listener suddenly realises the entire album is autobiographical. TIM FINN wants out, and he wants out bad. The dark, progressive 'Log Cabin Fever' only serves to confirm this.

The other tracks don't quite live up to this standard, but are pleasant at worst. Not quite four stars, and the last SPLIT ENZ album worth listening to - at least in part because TIM gets out.

russellk | 3/5 |


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