Enuff Z'nuff

Enuff Z'Nuff

Atco Records, 1989


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Did you ever get the feeling that Howard Stern knows more than most people want to admit?

Sure, he's outspoken, but from my experiences of listening to him, he usually never states an opinion unless he feels strongly about it. The same could be said for his tastes in music. While I'm not on any type of speaking terms with him (not that I'd mind - someone please steer Howard towards this site!), I don't think there are many bands he's championed more than Enuff Z'Nuff. Never mind the fact that so many people out there pooh-pooh this group as being both a throwback to the '60s and the epitomy of what was wrong with metal in the late '80s and early '90s.

How many of them have actually taken the time to go back and listen to their debut album from 1989? Fact of the matter is, this album is pretty damned good, even 10 years after its original release.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I never did pick up that much of a Lennon/McCartney hero worship vibe off this tape, but there's no doubt that the band - vocalist/guitarist Donnie Vie, bassist/vocalist Chip Z'Nuff (I haven't forgotten about setting up that interview with you, Chip - call me), lead guitarist Derek Frigo and drummer Vikki Foxx - aren't afraid to embrace a little touch of psychedelia in their music. The opening track "New Thing", with its soaring harmony vocals, has the hints of that genre in it, though it's hardly flashback music. If anything, the tune embraces the best portions of it and mixes it with some solid light metal.

"Fly High Michelle," the song that Enuff Z'Nuff is best remembered for, is still a pretty ballad that allows the band to access their softer side without losing any of the power musically. It's an interesting trick to pull off, and one that many bands have failed to do. But Enuff Z'Nuff nails it on the first try.

There are a few moments of absurdity on Enuff Z'Nuff that make you wonder what the band was up to. "Hot Little Summer Girl" finds the boys trying to pretend they're Y&T, while "Little Indian Angel" - hell, I still haven't figured that one out. It's an okay song, but it is enough to make Iron Eyes Cody weep. (Sample lyric: "When I need romance / I do a raindance / she starts poppin' / the rain starts droppin' / and with my big gun / I shoot another one". Give me a fuckin' break.) And, the less said about "Kiss The Clown," the better.

Still, for these moments of banality, Enuff Z'Nuff is able to redeem themselves and make you forget about these transgressions. "She Wants More," "For Now" and "I Could Never Be Without You" all are high points on this album, and should not be missed.

What is surprising about Enuff Z'Nuff is that it is, for the most part, such a solid album - especially if you listened to the pundits and didn't expect much from the album going into it. And that's where Howard Stern comes in; he's not been afraid to buck the trends and declare this band hasn't gotten the attention they deserve. If you take the time and listen to this album without bias, in the end - though you might not want to admit it if you don't like Stern - you've got to admit that he's right.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atco Records, and is used for informational purposes only.