|I Can Make a Mess — Enola (2013)|
I Can Make a Mess — Enola
Birth name: Arthur Carl Enders III
Born: April 19, 1982
Origin: Hammonton, New Jersey, United States
Location: Hammonton, New Jersey, U.S.
Album release: June 11, 2013
Record Label: Rise Records
01. Enola 3:40
02. Wrinkle 3:40
03. Close Enough 3:35
04. Adaptation Cell 2:50
05. Listen Lesson / Keep Away 3:51
06. Tidal Wave 4:23
07. Lions 4:09
08. Ancient Crows 3:06
09. What Happens Now 3:26
10. Burn It All Down 3:35
11. Thin White Line 3:05
Producer: Ace Enders
◊ Arthur 'Ace' Enders — vocals, guitar
Past and Touring Members:
◊ Jeff Kummer — Bass (2004)
◊ Chris Badami — Drums (2004)
◊ "Ultra" Bill Lugg — Guitar (2004)
◊ Jose Lopez — Drums
◊ Tyler Davis — drums
◊ Robin Gazzara — Keyboard, Backing Vocals
◊ Jennifer Enders — Synthesizer
◊ I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business (2004)
◊ The World We Know (March 2010)
◊ Dust'n Off the Ol' Guitar (September 16, 2010)
◊ Happy Christmas (December 15, 2010)
◊ Gold Rush (May 5, 2011)
◊ Enola (June 11, 2013)
Press: Mike Cubillos —
Agent: Mike Marquis —
Reviewed by: Kelly Doherty (06/15/13); Score: 8.5/10
◊ Bloody hell, Ace Enders is one extremely talented young man. Driving force of The Early November (a band that pretty much everyone ever likes) and the brain behind a copious amount of side projects, Mr Enders probably has more musical talent in his little finger than many bands have overall and, yet again, he has returned to remind us of his general awesomeness. This time, we're dealing with I Can Make A Mess, the project with which Enders lets out his somewhat indie baiting side. Whilst apparently he can't make a mess like nobody's business anymore, Enola is a beautiful mess of folk leanings, soft vocals and sleepy tones.
◊ The best way of describing Enola that comes to mind is that the record is a little like what would have happened if Owl City's Ocean Eyes had achieved all of the things it seemed to be aiming for. Enola is a delicate album which provides just enough pop to make it commercially viable, whilst maintaining the integrity and earnestness we've come to expect from Mr Enders. Throughout the record, I Can Make A Mess goes through very many modes; soaring folk and dubstep tinged synth stuff (all the stuff that P4k gives best new music to, basically) being the two main choices. It’s safe to say that with this record, I Can Make A Mess is taking directly from the music scene of 2013, however what sets Enola apart is the fact that it adds that heart and passion to a musical landscape that seems barren of actual, real emotions.
◊ Just a skim through the record shows how eclectic Mr Enders’ musical palette is. The opening title track throws us straight into an atmospheric, acoustic lull with Enders’ voice driving forward underneath the layers of simplistic but effective instrumentation. ◊ It’s a beautiful opener which draws the listener in to I Can Make A Mess’ wonderful, sweet alternative world. “Adaptation Cell” is firmly grounded that world as well. Enders’ voice is on top form. Every lyric is cloaked in likeability and Enders’ friendly tone and at times it feels like listening to your best friend’s new album. “Lions” showcases his lyrical and vocal talent like no other track on Enola. Both urgent and elegant, Enders’ tone and delivery makes the listener want Enders to achieve everything he’s aiming for because he seems so wonderfully nice.
◊ Other tracks display a tougher side to I Can Make A Mess’ canon. “Listen Lesson/ Keep Away” revels in a dubstep tinged, club electro atmosphere and, despite my general aversion to ‘club’ music, it’s actually a highlight of the record. The snappy beat and almost rap like chorus are so infectious that this is the ultimate in tasteful good times summer songs. “What Happens Now” is both seductive and incredibly sweet. However, it’s so submerged in synth and gloss that it seems almost impossible that this is the voice of The Early November. That’s not a bad thing, however it does come as a slight shock to a fan of TEN. Be warned, do not expect The Rooms Too Cold or anything in any way remotely TEN like. I Can Make A Mess is a very different monster.
◊ Overall, Enola is an excellent album. I Can Make A Mess has created a record that satisfies any fan of modern indie music, whilst not falling into the trap of ever being pretentious or throwaway. It’s not flawless — occasionally the eclecticism feels a bit discordant — however, it creates a beautiful, magical world away from all the hardships of life and provides both an escape and a soundtrack to the good times. Wonderful work.
By Brittany Moseley; June 7, 2013; AP Rating: ***½
◊ With four Early November albums, two as Ace Enders & A Million Different People, plus the three previous releases from I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business, Ace Enders has earned his stripes as a talented and diverse songwriter. Enola continues that diversity, as the album gets off to a subdued start, at times sounding more indie folk than pop-rock. (“Adaption Cell” sounds straight off an Iron & Wine album.) Even when the instruments are more prominent (the chorus of “Wrinkle”), the arrangements are fairly simple, allowing Enders’ voice to carry through. Things pick up with “Listen Lesson/Keep Away” which sees Enders reaching for a higher octave while giving his music a new, but surprisingly fitting infusion of electronics. The strongest track is “Lions,” which alternates between quiet acoustic verses and quick-paced choruses complete with strings. The one criticism of Enola is its lack of cohesiveness. Often it sounds like Enders had enough ideas to make three albums, but instead he threw them all on one. Enders’ gift — and possibly his curse — is that he never wants to get too comfortable with his music. Fortunately on Enola, he succeeds more often than not. (http://www.altpress.com/reviews/)
|I Can Make a Mess — Enola (2013)|