E’nuff Z’nuff, known for their hit’s “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing”, are releasing their latest album, “Diamond Boy” on August 10th. Their fourteenth studio album, E’nuff Z’nuff started in 1984 and are renowned for their melodic, power pop sound.
Diamond Boy opens with “Transcendence” a minute-long intro track featuring choir-like vocals. It sets the tone for the rest of the album without diving straight in.
The first few songs highlight everything there is to know about Enuff Z’nuff: Catchy melodic vocal lines, poppy rhythms and an overall atmospheric, spacey sound.
“Diamond Boy”, the titular track, starts with a lo-fi intro that eventually breaks and gives you the feeling of your ears popping after getting off an airplane. The vocals are little unusual; this is the first album featuring Chip Z’Nuff, bassist and namesake of the band, on lead vocals. He’s not the most naturally talented vocalist, but it still works. It gives him a unique style and it really works with the music.
“Where Did You Go” and “We’re All The Same” both show off these unique vocal melodies. For much of the album. I felt that the verse’s vocal lines were as hooky (if not more so) as the chorus melodies. This sort of makes it difficult to distinguish the different sections of the songs. At least in terms of what you traditionally expect, i.e. verse – chorus – bridge etc, this again gives the whole thing a unique and unusual sound. But most importantly it’s an enjoyable sound. It’s very poppy and fun to listen to.
“Fire & Ice”, starts off a little more mellow and with a little less bounce. There’s an echo effect on the vocals that gives it a spacey vibe. The chorus features a droning, repeating vocal line, it’s a cool style and it helps the song stand out on an album that is at times a bit samey.
Although “Diamond Boy” is very original and has a unique sound, it definitely suffers from relying a little bit too much on that sound. Some of the songs get lost in the shuffle, particularly in the middle section, where the freshness is beginning to wear off and you’re becoming more familiar with the sound. “Down on Luck”, “Metalheart” and “Love is on the line” are the casualties of this. They’re all about the same length, they’re carried by a driving bass line and feature the now trademark melodic vocals. Sure, “Down on Luck” is a little more downtrodden and melancholy, “Metalheart” is faster and has a little more grove. But ultimately their placement on the album, and their overall similar sound, taints them a little.
“Faith, Hope & Luv” contains a groovy riff and slick lead guitar. It’s got a very powerful sound, and the bass is featured prominently, particularly in the chorus. The solo is great on this song, as all the solos are on this album. Every song has at least one solo, often there’s two, so there’s plenty of flash for fans of intricate guitar playing.
The final two songs are slower and more relaxed than most of the other songs on the album. “Dopesick” starts with a metallic guitar lick that then gives way to keyboards and thick bass tones. It builds back up to a big chorus with driven guitars that serves as a timely reminder that Enuff Z’nuff are a pop-rock band and not just a pop band.
“Imaginary Man” seems to float up and down melodically, carried by poppy keyboards. The choir-like backing vocals return towards the end of the track, bringing the whole thing full circle.
“Diamond Boy” is a really fun album. It’s thoroughly enjoyable throughout and there’s no real bad songs on it. Some of the songs are lost a little bit to the familiar sound but ultimately they’re good songs with enough character to keep the album interesting.
It was hard not to smile listening to this album. The quirkiness of it was endlessly appealing to me and I still found it fun on the second and third listens.
Where Did You Go
We’re All The Same
Fire & Ice
Down On Luck
Love Is On The Line
Faith, Hope & Luv
Review by Josh Farrell