Enuff Z'nuff - Strength
If I had to describe Enuff Z'nuff with one sentence then I would say: Enuff Z'nuff play the best Melodic Hard Rock out there, and they are the only band, I feel I can justly compare to The Beatles.

That is a bold statement, and one that may need a little clarification... What I mean is that I hold Enuff Z'nuff in as much awe as The Beatles. Before you start shaking your head, hear me out :). When I listen to the music of Enuff Z'nuff, it's impossible not to feel something. In terms of songwriting skills, the energy they play with, the timeless fresh feel of the songs, the unforgetable melodies that stay in your head long after others are gone, the fantastic vocal harmonies, all the sing along choruses, the simple yet deep lyrics filled with irony, humor and little word plays and the amount of quality music they have written in such a short time. All these things makes me put them in the same league as the Beatles in terms of quality, quantity and ingenuity. Enuff Z'nuff is one of the only bands that are able to play seemingly simple music that inspires on many levels, and with time you suddenly see that the music is not that simple at all.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) Enuff Z'nuff have never enjoyed the same popularity as that other band from the 60'ies. If that had been the case, I'm not sure that they would still be alive and making music today. Since 1989 where their self titled debut came out, they have put out 10 studio albums, all of which have their own strengths. So where to start if you want to discover one of the most overlooked, ignored and misunderstood bands out there? Well, Strength was where I started, so you might as well do that too...

Strength... That is exactly what this album has shown during the past 11 years, since I first bought it. Today I still get the same feeling of wonder, when I listen to it, as I got eleven years ago, when the album finally clicked with me.

The bass playing of Chip Z'nuff is "one of a kind". This guy really has the groove. His bass is apparant in all the songs, keeping them tight, while at the same time giving them that special groove, and a kind of releaxed, laid back feeling. With the brilliant bass playing and perfect vocal harmonies he creates with Donnie Vie, I have no problems proclaiming this guy a musical genius and a perfect layer of bass lines...

Guitar hero Derek Frigo plays one awesome solo after another. Always melodic, always giving his personal touch thoughout the songs. His guitar playing makes this album a joy to listen to. There's always something going on. Derek Frigo fits the band perfect, and it was a shame that he left after Animals...

Donnie Vie is the other "one of a kind" musical genius in Enuff Z'nuff. His vocals may take a little time to win you over, if you've never heard his voice before, but take my word for it. He certainly has the most charismatic voice in the world, and ranks among my favourite singers ever.

Vikki Fox on drums should not go unmentioned. He puts on a solid performance and gives all the songs the tightness and rythm that is necessary for them to work so well.

Strength is filled with classic Rock songs, that go beyond what you would expect of a typical Hard Rock band. Well, Enuff Z'nuff is definitely not your typical Hard Rock band. These are not just simple straight ahead tunes. Though you might get that impression after the first couple of listens, I'm sure that, like me, you will suddenly see that this music has several layers, that takes some time and patience to peel away. Once you've gotten that far, you will see the true beauty of this band. That has always been the real strength of Enuff Z'nuff, that they are able to give their music that extra special something that makes it timeless, and different from any other band out there.

A good example of this is the title track Strength. Definitely the most diverse song the band had done at this time. By incorporating instruments like Violin, Cello and the unmistakeable Mellotron, the band creates a fantastic melancholic atmosphere, that in turn works perfectly with the lyrics about relationships and love. A slow emotional song where the vocal work of Donnie Vie really shines. A touch of genius is when the violin enters the sound with a solo that fits the mood perfectly. Then notice the way the violin and cello help build the tension and atmosphere in the final chorus and climatic ending part. A definite highlight.

Besides Strength, the album continues to weave magic through each of its other tracks.

Heaven or Hell is a solid opener that shows what great energy this band has. Already here you'll notice the awesome dual vocal harmonies that Chip & Donnie are capable of creating.

Missing you is a slow emotional song that drips with feeling both in the vocals of Doinnie Vie, but also in the emotionfilled guitar of Derek Frigo. The feeling this song sends across is a feeling of being hungover on a Sunday afternoon, after the girl you love just left you a couple of days before.

The world is a gutter is another of my favourites. The brilliant start of this song gets the juices going, especially when the volume is turned up loud. Check out the cool guitar work by Frigo at the end of this song. It makes me want the song to go on forever. Brilliant and melodic.

Goodbye is a power ballad of sorts. Starting out with just a piano and Donnie's voice, the song builds slowly to the lovely chorus. Donnie's unique voice rules this song, and perfectly conveys the sad lyrics dealing with breakups and realising that things just don't work out sometimes. Also notice the nice little cello part.

Hollywood ya is one of the weirdest songs on the album. Just listen to the way it starts. Weird in the best sense of the word. The sweet background rythm is a little Beatles inspired and it works great. This song has some nice little touches hidden in the background, that I suddenly started noticing after several years. The way I understand it, this song is about addiction.

There is something about Mother's Eyes that gets me every time. The rythm and feel this song has is fantastic, and the way the music flows is really amazing. I think it has a lot to do with the groove of the bass and drums, which work together perfectly. As always the guitar solo is entertaining and just about perfect. The chorus is another example of the genius Chip & Donnie team. The way they harmonise with each other throughout the album is really special.

In crowd is a fast paced rocker, where the lyrics deal with the feeling of being an outcast. The lyrics are written with a nice glint in the eye. In this song the guitar work shines again.

The way home/Coming home is yet another highlight of the album. This two part song sees the band take on a more serious theme, war. Starting out as the perfect love song, sung with feeling and devotion, the song suddenly takes a dive into a darker atmosphere, when a heavy guitar riff takes over from the piano. Telling the story of war heroes returning from something that you can never really escape from. Also check out the brilliant guitar solo.

Baby loves you should have been the hit of all times. It is one of those perfect songs that will never leave your head, once it's in there. That's the way it has worked its magic on me anyway. An up-beat party rocker with a true sing-along chorus. This song can make you feel good under just about any circumstances.

Blue Island is not to be forgotten. Another highlight. This one again shows the diversity of the band, with lots of little touches in the music. The melody is really good and the chorus is sent straight from heaven, listen closely for the cool guitar work. The harmonies once again work perfectly. One word for the guitar solo: Glorious!

Time to let you go is the perfect closer, and a fantastic, sad love song. Once again the vocal harmonies of Chip & Donnie are one of a kind and work perfectly. I really like the atmosphere and lyrics of this song.

Long way to go and Something for free are the only songs that, on their own, don't live up to the classic status all the other songs have. I just feel like I'm missing a little something in these two songs. Still, I coudn't imagine Strength without these two songs, as they fit on the album in their own way. Long way to go gives the album some extra power, and here the party attitude, that was so apparant on their debut, rears its head. Long way to go turns of to be a nice little breather after a lot of songs with more serious lyrics. Something for free is a good song, but the chorus is repeated a few too many times and I miss a little more melody in this song.

As you can read on my staff page it took a long time before I finally started realizing how amazing this album (and band) really is. Suddenly, after 6 or 7 listens it just clicked, and I realised this is what a true classic is. A timeless piece of music that I will never tire of. After this Strength experience I never looked back, and I'm happy to say that every Enuff Z'nuff album out there has it's own moments of genius. Strength has a lot of them, and the music is so powerful and true that I can only stand in awe of such brilliant songwriting.

Enuff Z'nuff have never really gotten the success they deserve. Since the release of their debut in 1989 they have only released high quality albums. When it seemed that they were close to breaking through something always got in the way. Be it bad management, no label support, a misunderstood image, no radio airplay, bad choices for singles or whatever. I think they have tried it all... In any case, it was never the songs that held them back. And that is what I like most about Enuff Z'nuff. They have never really released any bad songs on any of their albums. They kept on going and never gave up. This is also one of the things I got from this album. Never give up and just keep on going, even if the world is falling down around you.

This is one of my favourite albums of all time, and what I would define as a perfect Rock album. A masterpiece of it's time, and today it still holds up just as well. Not a lot of albums are able to get the ultimate grade, but this album is one of the few that actually deserves it.

So, to conclude: Enuff Z'nuff have always been about making fantastic music. That is what they do best and Strength is their finest examples of that. 14 songs of pure rock and emotion. A classic if there ever was one.

Ok, Time to let you go...

Written by Steen
Thursday, May 1, 2003
Show all reviews by Steen

Ratings

Steen: 10/10

Members: No members have rated this album yet.


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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by Ulrick (Anonymous) - Tuesday, May 6, 2003
Seriously Steen. have you hit your head lately? I respect that your taste in music differ from mine, but to compare Enuff Z'nuff with The Beatles, really tops the list-of-things-that-only-Steen-seems-to-think. I am suprised that, with the amount of metal, and other genres for that matter, you own, that you can't see that Enuff. is only a mediocre hard rock band. Maybe the best Hard rock band in your opinion, but no way near The Beatles which you so boldly compare to. I'm a HUGE Maiden fan as you might know, and I had my doubts when I was going to review them for this site, because I was afraid that I couldn't be objective about it an give every album a perfect 10. It took a lot of work, long nights, and a lot of crying to do the albums from Iron Maiden - Fear of The Dark. If I took my maiden glasses on, only No Prayer. and FOTD would receive a rating lower than 10. But without them, well you've read them. High ratings, yes. But being able to see the flaws in a band you like so much, I really, really hard. "Where is he going with this?", you might think. Well, when I read your review, I feel that your objectivity has disappeared. This is a review written by a fan, and not an objective reviewer. You state that they never got the succes they deserve. Maybe there's a reason for that?!?! :-) But I respect your opinion. Finally I will ask you this. If Enuff Z'nuff in overall musicianship rates as high as Beatles, what about Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or even Iron Maiden. I must admit that I respect them a lot more than Enuff.


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Tuesday, May 6, 2003
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Well, Ulrick. I really don't know where to start with this. It's sad that you didn't make your own review of the album, and stated your comments that way instead.

You state that Enuff Z'nuff is a mediocre Hard Rock band. I would like to know what you base that opinion on. Have you actually ever really listened to the whole Strength album? Which EZN albums have you listened to completely? How many times? and so on. Sure you're entitled to your own opinion, but I'd like to know what you base it on...

I'm basing my Enuff Z'nuff - The Beatles comparison on their entire career. That is my own opinion... I'm sure you don't understand it, as you obviously haven't been able to discover the same quality in the music as I have. Look below for more in this.

Sure, I know that you're a HUGE Iron Maiden fan, and you probably spent a lot of time on those reviews, but it seems like you insinuate, that I'm going to rate every Enuff Z'nuff album with a 10. It's sad that you think so, and I can only say that you don't know me very well. Out of a collection of more than 700 albums I cannot name more than five albums I would give the perfect score, so that you state something like this really pisses me of.

When I write a review I make it personal and state my own personal opinion. If that takes away from your definition of objectivity, then that's your feeling, but we each have different writing styles. Accept that! If reviews were 100% objective then they wouldn't be very fun to read... And that (fun) is a big part of what this site is about.

There is a fine line between making a good, factual, insightful and serious review (Which is what I think I managed to write) and making a fan review that just praises the album or band for various reasons, without ever stating why the album is so good. Can I assume that you read the whole review? Then you should have seen that I mention the two songs that I feel are "not as good" on their own as the other ones are, as well as the reason for that.

To quote you:

"You state that they never got the succes they deserve. Maybe there's a reason for that?!?!"

Again, read the review! I did state the reasons why I think EZN never have gotten the success they deserve. I also stated that EZN is a hard band to get into. Not for those who don't have the patience.

Another quote:

"If Enuff Z'nuff in overall musicianship rates as high as Beatles, what about Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or even Iron Maiden. I must admit that I respect them a lot more than Enuff..."

It seems that you completely misunderstood my comparison. I'm not just talking about the musicianship, but about the whole feel and spirit of the band, the music, the lyrics and everything else about the band's entire career. Enuff Z'nuff is still the only band, that gives ME the same magic feeling, as when I listen to the old Beatles records.

I can only hope that you discover the magic, Someday.

steen@revelationz.net

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Comment by Matt (Anonymous) - Tuesday, May 6, 2003
Still my favorite Znuff album of all time!!! Heaven or Hell and title song are unbelievable. Vie's voice was in rare form and the original lineup should get back together and do a tour of nothing but the first three albums.


Comment by Superego (Anonymous) - Wednesday, May 7, 2003
This album defines me as a person. "Strength" swooped down and harnessed my soul in 1991. It has never let go. Every time I listen to it, I remember, no, I re-experience a simpler, loving time in my life. I have no qualms in saying that this album was created by God himself. I can go to church twice a week for a year and not feel as enlightened as I do when I listen to this album. This band IS in the same class with the Beatles. I boldly venture to say that EZN's discography surpasses the Beatles in several respects considering the fact that they didn't have one percent of the support that the Beatles had in their heyday. Put EZN in a multimillion dollar studio with no budgetary constraints and I guarantee that the result will be the best goddamn album ever made, period! "Strength: is just a glimmer of this band's potential. I hope Heaven plays it on a daily basis.


Comment by B Z'nuff (Anonymous) - Saturday, May 17, 2003
I just can't understand why you argue so much about this Band! I mean just listen to the albums, starting out with their self titled and then end up with Welcome to blue island and you will know that this is a band with a very high standard musicly and lyricly.
I will say it like this: ENUFF Z'NUFF RULES AND THEY ALWAYS WILL!!!
And Ulrich if you don't want to listen to EZN (as you clearly haven't) don't ever put out your comment! Shut it instead please, Thanks!


Comment by Jeff (Anonymous) - Tuesday, August 19, 2003
trust me I have all there albums and yes the beattleds comparison is for real. Mainly because of the songrwiting of Donnie Vie is incredible (I have Demos, live releases, and every release that this band has ever made and yes the music writing is incredible .. i dare say that if they were born in the 50s they probably would have been bigger than the beatles.. but hell no proof there since true rock has been taken from our airways for a long time now.. so there cant be even a comparison based off todays standards. I have never heard a "bad" enuff song truthfully and I am a metal-head (including black and death metal!)
Guys- Donnie has a solo album hit the stores in a week or so.. you guys should try reviewing it since Enuff Znuff is no more.
Donnie Vie- Just Enough (coming soon)
great review!


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Tuesday, August 19, 2003
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Thanks Jeff!

Look out for a review of Just Enough in the near future. My first impression is very very good!

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Comment by WardyS3 (Anonymous) - Monday, April 12, 2004
Was going through reviews here and noticed little argument. Well, for arguments sake I confess to being a major fan of Maiden and Queensryche. I also love Charon and many of the bands from the UK, but I have to admit that I would rate Strength no less than a 9 because it is everything Steen says it is. A wonderful wonderful album that simply oozes volumes of talent, perfect melodies and enough maturity to stand tall above the trite that was being released in it's heyday. Great review Steen, I understand your points Ulrick but you gotta respect others opinions! Hey, I grew up with Huey Lewis and the News and nobody is gonna convince me otherwise, Sports and Fore were two very fine albums. Go figure!


Comment by derek frigo (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 2, 2004
come see me and vixck in oure new band logans heroes


Comment by derek frigo (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 2, 2004
come see me and vixck in oure new band logans heroes


Comment by scott waters (Anonymous) - Tuesday, June 29, 2004
i just haver one comment... I think that znuff and vie are better sonwriters then mccartney and lennon...there you go.


Comment by Tom Z'Nuff (Anonymous) - Sunday, July 18, 2004
wow thats pretty wird that Derek Frigo was on here 26 days before his death leaving a post. God Bless you Derek and Rest in Peace, and Jam with Jimi Hendrix for me will ya?


Comment by WardyS3 (Anonymous) - Sunday, July 25, 2004
Yeah Tom, can you believe that? Pretty fuckin sad aye?


Comment by Pat (Anonymous) - Sunday, December 12, 2004
Tom... you're fucking gullible.

Anyway, I can't blame Steen at all for his opinion. It's seriously that great of an album, even with 14 songs thrown in there, none of them are short of being oustanding. Just like most albums of this caliber, it takes more than one listen to really capture it... give it a chance.


Comment by Shawn Kaufman (Anonymous) - Wednesday, December 7, 2005
I agree with you on the Beatles influence on the band and it's a music tragedy that they were covered up by the alternitive craze that hit about the time they started making music on a major label...Now answer me this...how come no mention of Cheap Trick...in my opinion one of the most under-rated bands ever and I think the influence of Cheap Trick on Enuff Z' Nuff is obvious along with the Beatles influence...however a great band that certainly deserves the fame they never seemed to tap into which could be a blessing disguise.


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Tuesday, December 13, 2005
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Hey Shawn,
Can you give some examples for me to check out? I have most of Cheap Trick's albums but haven't found their influence to be as obvious as The Beatles. Maybe because I discovered The Beatles before Enuff Z'nuff and Cheap Trick after Enuff Z'nuff, I don't know. But it would be interesting if you can elaborate on the Cheap Trick influence.

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Comment by Pardoe (Anonymous) - Monday, August 27, 2007
xxx This is what ive always wanted to say about Enuff Z'Nuff and youve said it ALL for me xxx love the way describe every song xxx cant thank you enuff xxx well dun son thats a real treat fer me as i always play this album on a long trip to Dawlish, Devon an gets the whole car rockin wow would never have thought of the way u describe the songs u love best, but i whant to send my congrats to you as this album wil never be repeated as far as i can see mabe im tunnel vision, yeah but give this album a spin and i wil take you on the road to hell if you dont like 1 of there songs xxx take it from me Enuff Z'Nuff and Strenth IS then best album of all time wooo lets ***Kin rock xxx well done mate xxx Love Pardoe xxxxxxxxXX :-) XXXXXXXXXX











Review by Steen
None

Released by
Atlantic Records - 1991

Tracklisting
1. Heaven Or Hell
2. Missing You
3. Strength
4. In Crowd
5. Holly Wood Ya
6. The World Is A Gutter
7. Goodbye
8. Long Way To Go
9. Mother's Eyes
10. Baby Loves You
11. Blue Island
12. The Way Home / Coming Home
13. Something For Free
14. Time To Let You Go


Style
Enuff Z´nuff (Hard Rock)

Related links
Visit the band page

Other articles
Welcome to Blue Island - (Michael)

UK Tour, May 2001 - (Michael)

Favorites - (Michael)

Tour Report - Live in The U.K. - Nov. 2003 with Crash Kelly and Drugdealer Cheerleader - (Michael & Steen)

Enuff Z´Nuff - (Michael)

Animals with human intelligence - (Steen)

UK Tour 2005 with Bang Tango, Pretty Boy Floyd and Drugdealer Cheerleader - (Michael & Steen)

? - (Steen)

Interview with Chip Z'nuff - (Steen)

One More for the Road - (Michael)

1985 - (Steen)

Tweaked - (Steen)

Live with Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys and Gypsy Pistoleros - UK Tour 2007 - (Michael & Steen)

Tonight Sold out - (Michael)

Dissonance (Limited Edition) - (Steen)

Dissonance - (Brian)

Live and Peace - (Michael)

Dissonance - (Sandra)



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Ratings
1 - Horrifying
2 - Terrible
3 - Bad
4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Very good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
666 - Unrated

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