Enuff Z'nuff

Live

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Recorded, apparently, at the House of Blues in Chicago in 1997 (at least, if the MC's introduction and picture of a backstage pass is anything to go by), Live is something of a time killer from the band. If nothing else, it's a nice enough document of the late-'90s version of the group on stage. Given how much Enuff Z'Nuff's recorded work relies on a balance of subtler and full-on approaches, Live understandably concentrates on the latter side -- there aren't any overdubs, backward tapes, or the like here. As such, the foursome comes out sounding more like Cheap Trick and poppier Buzzcocks than the Beatles -- it's all about electric flash and entertainment first and foremost. The song selection is the most disappointing thing of all -- a little over half the selections come from the first two albums, while nothing from the fantastic Tweaked or the enjoyable Seven, both far more recent, turns up. As a demonstration of the band's staying ability, Live therefore falls quite short, making Enuff Z'Nuff sound more like a nostalgia act than anything else. If anything, Live shows that John Monaco can pull off lead guitar solos and all, though he's easily the most conventional part of the band. He's good, just not spectacularly unique or striking, and sometimes his contributions are fairly obvious yank 'em/crank 'em efforts that call to mind the original attempts to sell the group as a hair band. Ricky Parent does a great job on drums, though, and as for Donnie Vie and Chip Z'Nuff, they're once again the perfect pair up front, as much a team as role models Lennon and McCartney (the cover of "Revolution" being the latest homage to their heroes). A fair amount of the applause sounds suspiciously dubbed in -- but if it worked for Kiss, who's complaining?

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