ENUFF Z’NUFF – Animals With Human Intelligence [reissue + Japan bonus track]
One of you requested the underrated third album by ENUFF Z’NUFF “Animals With Human Intelligence” in its Japanese edition, however this reissue sounds great and also includes the bonus track. It’s a very expensive CD nowadays, but at least it isn’t out of print yet.
Although Enuff Z`Nuff’s second album is regarded as his best – and I agree – I always had a soft spot for their 3rd effort “Animals With Human Intelligence”, in my opinion, as good as the previous and without a doubt the band’s more complete and varied album.
Co-produced by genius Richie Zito with a pristine clear melodious sound, the order of the day here is super catchy melodic rock which is sometimes thoughtful, sometimes fun, sometimes sad, always memorable.
The ferocious ‘Superstitious’ opens the disc a cool guitar based song showing the rocking side of the band, as Derek Frigo on guitar fires up the record for a massive blastoff.
‘Black Rain’ has a slight psychedelic feel due to the vocal harmonies and the rhythm that slowly creeps up on you. On top of that it has a groove that makes it impossible to sit still while listening. Great performance by Donnie on this one.
‘Right by Your Side’ is a highlight, and one of my favorite songs from the band ever. It is one of those perfect catchy songs that Enuff Z’nuff are so good at creating, an awesome example of post-Cheap Trick melodic rock. Donnie’s gentle voice lets the song soar above ground and the guitar riffs keeps it floating. I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing this song, it just has a special quality, a timelessness that only gets stronger with age.
The party vibe gets turned up with ‘These Daze’. A hugely well performed track, that I again, find it impossible not to sing along with. The guitar has a cool drive to it, an essential element for a song of this type. A classy song with a hint of yearning for the good old ’80s days.
Another highlight comes with ‘Innocence’, a ballad to die for, close to perfection. The piano is beautifully used and the song never becomes sentimental or cheesy. Donnie wrote this to his younger sisters about growing up, and it is a timeless classic. Both sad, hopeful and life affirming, with an incredible amount of emotion. Atmospheric and picturesque meet in a warm embrace in this hymn to life.
Like ‘These Daze’, the hard-rocking ‘One Step Closer to You’ has a fantastic drive and I find it impossible not to start a sing along. It is a knockout song with an indescribable energy, perfectly captured by the incredibly smooth opening, where, as Donnie starts singing, it is clear to me that everything, and I mean everything about this band, just gels. This is one of those songs that has grown over time and currently it is among my absolute favorites of the album.
‘Bring It Home’ was a track that was included in the Jerry McGuire soundtrack. You may say to yourself, “I don’t remember that in the movie.” Well that’s because the scene was cut … A great rock track that is a little more Bryan Adams than anything the band had done to date.
“Mary Anne Lost Her Baby” might just be the album’s finest moment. A completely moving and rocking song that gets under your skin and stays there. With a sincere message, it shows the band taking a step away from the usual love, party & heartbreak lyrics and tackle a difficult subject without becoming tacky. An unquestionable career highlight whose at once beautiful and terrifying melodies perfectly complement its painful portrayal of abortion-related guilt.
This re-release also includes the original Japanese edition bonus track ‘Fingertips’. If you haven’t heard this beautiful, very dark and emotional ballad, then it is worth tracking down.
“Animals With Human Intelligence” is one of Enuff Z’nuff best albums, with an inspired Donnie Vie delivering some of the finest songwriting of his career. It is still one of the most varied, enduring albums from the band and the one which sound & style has better resisted the test of time.
01 – Superstitious
02 – Black Rain
03 – Right by Your Side
04 – These Daze
05 – Master of Pain
06 – Innocence
07 – Takin’ a Ride
08 – The Love Train
09 – One Step Closer to You
10 – Bring It on Home
11 – Mary Ann Lost Her Baby
12 – Rock N World
13 – Fingertips [original Japan Bonus Track]
Donnie Vie – lead vocals, guitar, piano
Chip Z’Nuff – bass guitar, backing vocals
Derek Frigo – lead guitar
Vik Foxx – drums
Kim Bullard, Gary Fry – keyboards