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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.
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I agree that enzso II was a bit of a disappointment after enzso. I ordered it at the time from netcd not knowing if it was getting a release anywhere else.
Poor song selection combined with lack of finn participation did it for me.
Choosing more conventional '80's pop songs over the 'arty' songs didn't really give the orchestra a chance to do anything with the songs, why 'history', 'i walk away' and 'bon voyage'? i don't think anyone was clamouring to hear orchestral versions of these. So the scope of the songs chosen was limited.
Even though Enzso was 'not a split enz album', it sure did have the 'enz family' feel to help it, something Enzso II doesn't have. The inclusion of dame kiri (strongly dislike this opera attempt) and Jon stevens (RIP Inxs) as a neil sound-alike sadly don't compensate leaving the overall album disjointed.
I don't dislike the cd, i enjoy at least half the album, i just don't listen to it as often as enzso or other enz related cds. 6 mths, one step, shark attack, semi detached and frenzy all seem to work, especially frenzy buried right at the end.
Enzso was just a hard act to follow
Whoops, Flicker you're quite right. There's a difference? Only joking Smiler That Urlich woman, urgh. I should have had the CD case in front of me. I had a vague thought at the time it wasn't Wendy Matthews. Oh well.

I forgot about Bon Voyage. Well, I actually quite liked this. Dame Kiri has an incredible voice, and certainly blows everyone else out of the water on this album. Those vocal ahhs send a real chill up my spine, and I don't particularly like female opera singers.

I agree though, the abundance of well known 80s pop Split Enz seemed a poor choice. Yes, I know most people wouldn't know Lovey Dovey, Late Last Night, True Colours or especially Nightmare Stampede, but these are really screaming for an orchestral treatment. If only Phil Judd had done the vocal on Under The Wheel on the original EnzSo, it would beat the Mental Notes version, well maybe not, but it would come awful close. From the original EnzSo though, the big surprise was Poor Boy, a very pop song that works beautifully in this arrangement. Same for Dirty Creature. At first, I didn't really like Strait Old Line, I realise it's closer to how Neil Finn originally envisaged it, but I do feel that a twenties jazz band version (ala the original orchestration of Rhapsody In Blue) would have worked much better. And the spoon solo is getting a bit old hat now isn't it? Much better to have revived the whole of The Woman Who Loves You surely? Still, the EnzSo version of Time FOr A Change has to get the award for worst Tim Finn vocal on any album. Still, he made up for it in Dirty Creature. And should I dare mention his impersonation of Mr Loaf on I See Red (Bat out of hell)?? I used to play that version of I See Red to my flat mate when we were at Uni, drove him nuts. But then we'd hopelessly crack up in the middle of the solo where everything stops and he hits that really high note (for no apparant reason that we could think of aside from 'hey, I really can still sing that high, I just choose not to at this present moment in my illustrious career') and usually not recover until half way through Stranger Than Fiction. Then we saw him singing with the Wiggles and lost it totally. However, hilarity aside, I did think it was nice that he had time to record a song for children (and a pretty good version of Six Months as well), as children get a pretty raw deal as far as music goes, and I respect Tim Finn very much (bigger fan of Finn Snr than Finn Jnr).
crikey, lots of stuff here wetting my whistle..

camus...

>Well, it's a bit of a let down after EnzSo isn't it?<

yeah

>And it has nothing to do with no Finns.<

nope

>I quite like Pioneer and Six Months<

not for me

>and One Step Ahead is fantastic<

yes it is

>but then I realised that they are left overs from the original EnzSo.<

ahem !

>Maybe (the song) could have been so much better, it's rather plodding and boring here<

i think it's ok actually overall - oompah oompah

>like with the EnzSo version of My Mistake (which is great).<

yeah it is, i thought that was a result - fabulous harmonies dahling

>History Never repeates is a bit of a hard one, the verse is really nice, with Jon Steven singing harmony<

this is the catastrophe for me of enzso 2

what on earth happened to jon stevens ? i LOVE jon stevens. perfecto inxs answer and i was really into noiseworks and saw them live - he has some brilliant songs and a beautiful voice and a top frontman but what happened with enzso2 ????

i like letter by noiseworks, one of my fave tunes. also love take me back and millie, he is the man, it was a masterstroke to get him involved but total poo that his contribution for me did not add up to what it might have been

could have been loads better, he coulda swung it i reckon. a bummer really
quote:
>I quite like Pioneer and Six Months<

not for me

>and One Step Ahead is fantastic<

yes it is

>but then I realised that they are left overs from the original EnzSo.<

ahem !

I think that six months would've worked better if it was sung, like at the original EnzSo concerts. I like it in a very tacky sort of way.

quote:
Maybe (the song) could have been so much better, it's rather plodding and boring here<

i think it's ok actually overall - oompah oompah
Hmm, but that's all it is, oompah oompah, at least we had syncopation with My Mistake, and as we all know, My Mistake is a pale immitation of Maybe in their original forms. I keep expecting Jean Marsh to pop up and start harping on about Mr Hudson.

History Never Repeats - you'll be happy to know Lozza that i was going to slag this off with no remorse, but then I listened to it again, and I thought that the verse, and only the verse, worked quite well. I agree with you about Jon Stevens, notice I didn't bring up the travesty that is the EnzSo I Walk Away?
Hi Peoplez,
I have a few bonez to pick with Enzso 2. (I have a couple with the first one too.)
Semi-detatched is a disapointment. (where are those trademark Tim octave leaps in the verse?) Six Months is corny to my ears and is nothing as imaginative as it could've been. (that male chorus is so damn rich though!) Great choir. 'Maybe' is nothing special. I feel the same way as I did about My Mistake- heavyhanded and why use all of the orchestra. A more smaller european caberet ensemble would've been better suited(about one third of the orchestra). Bon Voyage (I expect flak for this) was a bit of a let down. The original outro was gorgeous. Why end it in the same vein as the intro when there was such a wonderful ending on Conflicting Emotions.

The stuff I Digged.......
One Step Ahead is fantastic. Boh has a fantastic lower range. Her sound is great. Why didn't they get her to do more on the album? I really love Sam Hunt's phrasing. He is incredible. I like this Shark Attack version although the Jaws thing is silly. Both one and two have great Sam Hunt moments. I only wish Eddie did something as outstanding as'Under The Wheel' from the first Enzso on the second. Great romantic writing. (the section from 'Day Glorious Day' etc till the end of the track)

I wonder if the NZSO and maybe that fantastic choir would do a series of gigs with Split Enz. The ideas for more arangements would be limitless.
quote:
Originally posted by alclarke:
[qb]I wonder if the NZSO and maybe that fantastic choir would do a series of gigs with Split Enz. The ideas for more arangements would be limitless. [/qb]
Oh please God no. If Enzso two proved anything, it's that you can take a good concept too far.

Eddie should have just been happy that Enzso one did as well as it did and ended that whole project on a high note.

Just how much effort was actually put into Enzso two anyway. Pioneer and Six Months In A Leaky Boat worked on Time and Tide because you had an instrumental track leading directly into a track with the same theme and feel but with vocals. On E2 it's just one instrumental leading into another, rendering the whole exercise useless.

The only listenable track is Kiri doing Bon Voyage.

Theres a good reason why E2 is hard to find. It's **** and no-one want's to buy it so Sony don't go out of their way to press many new copies of it.

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