First we had Tubes and Queen; now -- from the Avalon of the antipodes, New Zealand -- enter Split Enz, the next successor to the throne of classical kink with a rock beat. Mental Notes piles pedal steel atop Leon Russell-Russ Conway pianos like a beehive hairdo on a bust of Beethoven. And it works, because musicians Edward Rayner, Tim Finn and Philip Judd know how to fashion a product as rich and precise as a South Sea sunset stretched out on a power loom. Songs like "Late Last Night," "Lovey Dovey," "Time for a Change" and "The Woman Who Loves You" are carefully contrived space shots at Cloudcoocooland, all atmosphere and no planet but plenty of things happening. It's worth a visit.
- Playboy, 4/77.
The first proper Enz album features the band at its eccentric best, Mental Notes is completely non-commercial art-rock filled with ambitious arrangements and slightly disturbing themes courtesy of the Phil Judd and Tim Finn songwriting partnership. Finn's bittersweet crooning perfectly compliments Judd's madman persona on tracks like "Stranger than Fiction." Although the album would be repackaged, renamed, and rerecorded in years to come, the band would never again produce anything like it. A favorite with fans. * * * *
- Chris Woodstra, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.