“Time and Tide stands as the band’s creative peak and most fully realized effort. On previous albums, Split Enz remained distant and removed, only revealing what little they did between the lines; for Time and Tide, Tim and Neil Finn, while still clearly standing as outsiders, opened up, giving a rare glimpse at their feelings and thought processes” (Woodstra).
“Tim exorcised demons and fears in the funky workout of” (Woodstra) the “suitably sinister” (ConnollyCo.com) Dirty Creature, and experienced a joyful communion with nature in Never Ceases to Amaze Me” Woodstra). He also “outlined a global view in Small World, and explored ancient folk music with Six Months in a Leaky Boat” (Woodstra), “an opus unto itself” (ConnollyCo.com) and Haul Away, an autobiographical sea shanty” (Woodstra).
“Neil, on the other hand, gave darkly evocative yet slightly more abstract accounts in Giant Heartbeat, Take a Walk, and the claustrophobic Log Cabin Fever while still producing an infectious rocker in Hello Sandy Allen. In addition to the peaks in songwriting, the Enz never sounded tighter as a band, with lean, tasteful arrangements. The result is a timeless, thoroughly consistent album and the high point of the Enz catalog” (Woodstra).
‘Dirty Creature’ and ‘Six Months in a Leaky Boat’ were both singles with, “of course, attendant videos” (ConnollyCo.com). “Yet the real attraction to this album lies deeper, its pop hooks waiting to snare unwary listeners. ‘Small World,’ ‘Never Ceases to Amaze Me,’ ‘Giant Heartbeat,’ ‘Make Some Sense of It’ and ‘Hello Sandy Allen’ rank right alongside the catchier cuts from their last two albums” (ConnollyCo.com).
“However, even these tracks are tempered with Time and Tide’s lyrical maturity; the boys clearly had something to say with this album, and it does get in the way of a good pop song sometimes…The second side of music features a shared moodiness that suggests something bigger afoot than a simple string of songs. Maybe everyone was waiting for the Enz to get serious” (ConnollyCo.com). It could be said that “True Colours had a youthful exuberance missing on the masterful and mature Time and Tide” (ConnollyCo.com).