ENZSO2I said in my review of the first ENZSO album that I’d love to hear more Split Enz songs translated into orchestral form. I’m glad I asked, and I’m even happier that Eddie Rayner agreed with everyone like me who wanted more. This is the second volume of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s (hopefully ongoing) all-star tribute to the best rock band ever to emerge from the South Pacific. This time around, however, the Finn brothers do not make an appearance, and thus the list of guest vocalists is much more varied. Returning from ENZSO are the excellent Dave Dobbyn (taking over center stage for “The Devil You Know” and “Maybe”) and Sam Hunt (rambling his way through “Shark Attack”, probably my least favorite ENZSO translation). The major headliner on ENZSO2 is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who adeptly handles the soaring vocals Tim Finn originally sang in Bon Voyage. Margaret Urlich transforms “Semi-Detached” into an almost Tori-Amos-esque ballad (and, if there’s an ENZSO3, Urlich with her lovely voice gets my vote for a repeat appearance). The NZSO gets more chances to shine with instrumental renditions of “Six Months In A Leaky Boat” and “Frenzy”, in addition to the first track, a grand version of “Pioneer”, an instrumental from 1982’s “Time & Tide” which has always been a favorite of mine. In fact, if there’s anything I love about ENZSO2, it’s the selection of songs involved. Many of Rating: 4 out of 4them – “History Never Repeats”, “One Step Ahead”, “Maybe”, “Bon Voyage”, “Pioneer” – are among my all-time Enz favorites. It’s almost like Eddie Rayner was reading my mind when he picked the song list. Though it’s very hard to find (unless you check the Amazon.com link below, where I got my copy), I strongly recommend ENZSO2.

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  1. Pioneer (2:08)
  2. Six Months In A Leaky Boat (5:04)
  3. History Never Repeats (3:59)
  4. One Step Ahead (3:58)
  5. Devil You Know (7:02)
  6. Shark Attack (6:19)
  7. I Walk Away (5:07)
  8. Semi-Detached (5:54)
  9. Maybe (4:18)
  10. Bon Voyage (5:25)
  11. Frenzy (4:50)

Released by: Columbia/Sony Music NZ
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 54:06