Enuff Z'Nuff: Donnie Vie (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Derek Frigo (lead guitar), Chip Z'Nuff (bass, guitar, vocals), Vikki Fox (drums).
Additional personnel: Johnny Frigo (violin, viola), Dennis Karmazyn (cello), Paul Lani (mellotron).
Producers: Paul Lani, Donnie Vie, Chip Z'Nuff.
Recorded at Music Grinder, Los Angeles, California and Chicago Recording Co., Chicago, Illinois.
All songs written by members of Enuff Z'Nuff.
At the start of their career, Chicago's Enuff Z'Nuff were touted as the rightful heirs to Cheap Trick thanks to their uncanny talent for combining alluring pop melodies with controlled hard rock crunch. Like their late-'70s heroes, Enuff Z'Nuff took most of their inspiration from a single influence: the Beatles. And where the Trick imbued their initially innocent-seeming pop gems with a dark, sinister edge, Enuff Z'Nuff, in accordance with their environment (late-'80s pop-metal), spun their music with a liberal dose of decadence and debauchery. Indeed, raunchy rockers such as "Heaven or Hell" and "Missing You" (like the bulk of their self-titled debut) stick close to this formula. But Strength soon introduces an entirely deeper side of the band, with lush string arrangements and chorused vocals contrasting perfectly with the ascending and descending chords of the title track. From here on out, anything goes, as the foursome rip through racy hard rock gems like "In Crowd" and "The World Is a Gutter," then relax into stunning power ballads like "Goodbye" and "Blue Island." The material which lies between is even better, and the two tracks which kick off the album's second half, "Mother's Eyes" and "Baby Loves You," are simply unbelievable pop songs. Take away three or four of its 14 tracks, and Strength would be a perfect album, but a little extra fat never hurt anyone. Arguably the greatest Abbey Road tribute and/or rip-off of the early '90s (depending on who you ask), Strength was sadly lost in the shuffle of the alternative rock revolution and through sheer record company incompetence, and Enuff Z'Nuff would sadly never recover. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia