Split Enz emerged form the indulgent art-rock scene with this solid collection of straight-ahead pop (their 3rd, after "Mental Notes" and the revamped version "Second Thoughts" for the wider release--which still had the title of the first album in most markets--confused yet?). Anyway, the first side is filled with perfect pop confections, a few ("My Mistake" and "Parrot Fashion Love") bringing to mind old music-hall-type songs. They jangle along with piano and horns chiming in. The opener, "Bold as Brass" is a real ear-catcher, with a heavy bass 'n' drum disco beat, and a rubbery guitar/keyboard line. This is the one that will burrow deep into your brain and not leave--incredilby infectious. Rounding out the side is "Sugar and Spice" (not a remake of the old 60's hit) and "Without a Doubt." The second side stretches out a bit with the ballad "Charlie" (sounding a bit too strained for my taste, and the slow rocking groove of "Nice to Know", and, perhaps hearkening back to the earlier days, "Jamboree" which doesn't stick to one mood--a multi-movement thing, if you will. Oh, and I believe it's "Crosswords", not "Crossroads" as listed above. What makes this group unique for the time is, I suppose, its clean, simple sound, the unique instrumentation, unusually literate lyrics, and the warbling voice of Tim Finn, whose delivery could assure that Split Enz would never get too serious--this is, and always was, a good-time band, despite their occasional forays into topicality ("Six Months in a Leaky Boat", for ex.). Their style would change slightly within the next few years, and the production would get slicker, but Split Enz are never less than pleasing to these ears.