The last we heard from American rock band Enuff Z'nuff was 2014's Covered In Gold, where the band covered some favorite and popular songs from a wide range of artists and musical styles. It was a pretty decent album. Yet the band hasn't had a platter of original material since 2010's Dissonance. Now Chip Z'nuff and company return with Clowns Lounge and 12 new tunes. But this requires some explanation.
These songs aren't "new" in the sense that they were written recently. No, these songs are rarities and early demos from between 1988 and 1989, when Z'nuff and musical partner and vocalist, Donnie Vie, were putting down every idea they had on two inch analog tape for their debut album. In a sense, this album is a repeat of ?, another album of previously unreleased material. Essentially, Chip Z'nuff and band took the unfinished material and reworked and re-recorded as necessary. Now what's old is new again, and Enuff Z'nuff sounds mighty fine. (I small note before preceding. Though still involved with the band, Donnie Vie is no longer the lead vocalist; Z'nuff has taken over with his blessing.)
So regarding Clowns Lounge, suffice to say if you like most anything Enuff Z'nuff has done in the past, especially early material, you will enjoy this album. Simply, the songs and music are Enuff Z'nuff's proper mix of classic melodic hard rock spiced with dashes of glam, pop, and AOR accessibilty. The songs are large on melody, harmony, and groove, with sharp riffs, abundant bold solos, catchy hooks in arrangements and refrains and, of course, pleasing melodic vocal arrangements. Z'nuff is a fine vocalist. You'll find heavier material with Dog On A Bone, Round and Round, or the sharp riffage of She Makes It Harder, yet none of these are without the groove and catchiness of pop sensibility. A good example of the vocal harmonies is found with Rockabye Dreamland. They rise at the start nearly fooling you into thinking the song may be ballad. Yet the vocals continue over some sweet and sharp twin guitar harmony. I found the vocal arrangement reminded me of The Beatles. While most of the songs here are rockers, there is the milder, more mellow, Devil Of Shakespeare, something of an anthem or ballad, which features guest appearances from the late Jani Lane (Warrant) and James Young of Styx. It's another fine example of Enuff Z'nuff's skill at creating pleasing vocal arrangements.
The summation is simple. As said earlier, if you like Enuff Z'nuff's proper mix of classic melodic hard rock spiced with dashes of glam, pop, and AOR accessibilty, you will dig Clowns Lounge. Quite recommended.
If you like Enuff Z'nuff's proper mix of classic melodic hard rock spiced with dashes of glam, pop, and AOR accessibilty, you will dig Clowns Lounge. Quite recommended.
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