It's getting a bit boring in here again... so here I go
Well, it's a bit of a let down after EnzSo isn't it? And it has nothing to do with no Finns. What does everyone else think? I quite like Pioneer and Six Months, and One Step Ahead is fantastic, but then I realised that they are left overs from the original EnzSo. Maybe (the song) could have been so much better, it's rather plodding and boring here, with none of the oddness or bentness of the original captured, like with the EnzSo version of My Mistake (which is great). In fact, it could easily crop up in Upstairs Downstairs (what are we gonna do with Uncle Arthur?). History Never repeates is a bit of a hard one, the verse is really nice, with Jon Steven singing harmony to himself (anyone else noted that where as EnzSo had harmonies sung by different people, as if it was recorded live (we know it wasn't) rather than overdubbing the same voice for the harmonies?) But the rest is pretty dire. The guitar solo (stolen from Bergan Aun Zee) here is so over orchestrated it makes a Mahler Symphony look like a string quartet Instead, I feel that Eddie Rayner moved backwards, moving into bland Hollywood orchestral pads than any interesting timbral orchestration. Where is the interesting woodwind string interplay that was a hallmark of the original? And Semi-detached, what a let down. Boring orchestration (except for the who's gonna be there when the going gets rough) and Wendy Matthews singing in that appalling country twang (listen to the line "I've gotta get going" to see what I mean) and total insincerity of the performance. Where's the 'I'm living on the edge, how'm I going to pay the rent, where's the next meal coming from ' angst of the original?
I wish Dave Dobbyn hadn't recorded Devil You Know the day Frank died. He sounds more like a pissed Dean Martin. Though Eddie Rayner shines at writing in four part vocal style. Nice harmonies too in the choral section. Pity he didn't use the choir in a more conventional way in the other tracks. I can only think of stuff and nonsense as the only other track to use the choir conventionally. Of course, I do love the use of it as an instrument though, especially in Poor Boy.
The tune that works the best for me (part from One Step Ahead, which is just sublime) is actually Shark Attack. I love Sam Hunt's deadpan delivery, and the way he labours the lyrics, making them even funnier. I Walk Away I won't even mention due to quality control.
Ok, I guess it just didn't really build on the original album. I felt that the orchestration was actually clumsier than on the first (and I thought the first was pretty darn good, except for a bit of overblown pomposity on Dirty Creature, but hey, those timpani are so funky, and any brass section doesn't need to be asked to blow as hard as possible). What do others think? I get the feeling that this album is fairly obscure, I stumbled across it after wondering if it was ever going to be released a few years back. And I'm in Australia, where the first album was the biggest Christmas seller in 1995 or 6, multi platinum blah blah yadda. Same with Say It Is So and Feeding the Gods, very hard to find.
Let me know what YOU think of this album.
all ranting and raving in this post are my own personal opinions.