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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Enuff Z'nuff

Paraphenalia

Review by Gary Hill

Showcasing potent pop/rock sensibilities and Beatles influences throughout, this is a very strong showing from this band. Its catchy melodies and intriguing arrangements should please most rock music fans. The disc features guest appearances from Cheap Trick`s Rick Nielsen, Styx` James Young and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. Enuff Z`Nuff is Monaco, Chip Z`Nuff, Donnie Vie and Ricky Parent.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Freak
Starting with Circus type music, the cut then moves into "Cheap Trick-meets-the-Beatles"-ish modes for the duration of the intro. Power-pop sorts of tones and an Elvis Costelloesque hook blend with these elements for a wonderfully catchy and substantial song. Freak is the first of several tunes here featuring lead guitar work by Cheap Trick`s Rick Nielsen.
Top of The Hill
With a verse that seems to call to mind such bands as Motley Crue and early Scorpions, this one has another quite singable hook, and some very meaty guitar lines. The musical tones of the verse are almost catchier than that aforementioned vocal hook on the chorus. This one features a guest appearance by Styx` James Young on lead guitar. Honestly though, the guitar sound on this one really does call to mind old Scorpions far more than Styx.
Ain't It Funny
The intro here feels a lot like a cross between punk bands The Dead Boys and The Ramones, but the vocal sections of the song feel a lot like old Cheap Trick. The tone on this one is very wonderfully heavy and catchy, making this a very strong number.
Believe In Love
Another composition which seems to combine Beatlesish tendencies and Cheap Trick leanings, this one is poppy, but still nicely rough around the edges. A quirky break takes the song into its outro.
Habit
This is a wonderful ballad that features a very progish instrumental break.
Baby You`re the Greatest
Seeming to combine the `80`s metal sound with some newer rock elements and power pop, this is another very potent cut. The number starts in a very catchy metal mode, then drops to the power pop sort of sound. From there it just keeps reinventing itself, pulling very quirky arrangements, and progish elements in to complete the picture. This is definitely one of the strongest pieces on the album, and showcases some dramatically powerful vocal work.
Someday
A pretty, piano based balladic cut, this one is also Trick/Beatlesish.
Unemotional
Another cut featuring Nielsen, this one is very Lenny Kravitzish at times, but the joint Beatles influences really accounts for that. In fact, the verses seem to capture the Beatles sound as well as any band ever has.
Invincible
A nice acoustic groove starts this piece (another that features James Young), which becomes a very soulful and powerful rock cut in a rather bluesy vein. This one features a couple powerful and progish harder rocking segments.
All Alone
The last track featuring Nielsen, this one is another slower rock cut. It feels slow and reflective, but has a more upbeat and potent chorus.
Everything Works if You Let It
Head Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan guests on this reworking of a Cheap Trick song. The number comes across quite well with a pleasantly somewhat rough edge. It is a good catchy rocker.
Save Me
Another strong rock number with a balladic verse section and potent chorus, this marks the album`s last appearance of James Young.
No Place To Go
Showing more Trick type sounds, No Place To Go is another potent rocker.
Loser of the World
This pretty, piano based ballad features soulful and bluesy lyrics and vocals.
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