Did you ever see the Simpsons where they go on vacation for the summer to the Springfield equivalent of Cape Cod and Lisa wears sunglasses and a backwards hat and tries to be dumb so the cool kids will like her but it just doesn't take? That's more or less the story of Chicago's Enuff Z'Nuff.
If you forced Poison to listen to the first three Elvis Costello albums for a year straight, and then asked them to double up on the outfits and hairspray, the result would sound something like Enuff Z'Nuff. You can hear (and see... dear god, can you see) them trying to fit in with their late-eighties contemporaries yet unable to shake their smarmy power-pop sensibilities. Predictably, they received accolades from critics who found this incongruous combo intriguing, and lukewarm response from power-pop fans who were repelled by their image and hard rock fans who found little to love in their suburban paisley-pop traditions.
I thought they sucked when they came out. I heard them again years later and found myself unable to resist such classy material being filtered through the overblown, pompous sonic and visual stamp of the end of the hair metal era. Whether by accident or by design, they're one of a kind.