Jeremy Enigk - World Waits Lewis Hollow 09.26.06 by Eric Nielsen
This is a good morning record. It's a positive spiritual album that works well with coffee. There is just the right mix of melancholy and feel good to make for a nice balance. It's the kind of album you want to put on when you're feeling good about things. The song crafting is well done. The compositions and choice of sounds makes for a pleasant and thoughtful listen. Often the voice sounds like Oasis, with some similar melodies (River To Sea), a little Phil Collins, sometimes Peter Gabriel, it's very emo, somewhat pushed, very Brit sounding. Though, he's American. His voice shifts with the music from Beatles sounding Lennon, to high sweeps, to some pushed high end screaming's. It's a voice that has some life experience in it, some of it is highly dramatic. World Waits is deeply rooted in pop sensibility and that should help it sell well, but there is something deeper and more meaningful that may give it more lasting value. It's a well crafted album by a mature, experienced musician.
Unavoidable Back story:
Most famously known as former Sunny Day Real Estate front man, Jeremy Enigk releases his first solo record since 1996. Sunny Day Real Estate has a rich history. They gave few interviews or band photos, they were on Sub Pop and on MTV 120 minutes, released their second album without liner notes or artwork, they wouldn't play California (maybe that was part of their problem), and maybe they broke up the first time because Jeremy Enigk converted to Christianity and wanted to sing about it. Here's an excerpt from a letter he wrote a fan in 1994.
"Yes sir I have given my life to Christ. For along time I dwelt on a lot of pain in my life. Pain that I had tried to get rid of in many different ways. I watched myself slowly shrivel up into a hopeless, bitter and lonely person. Well one thing led to another and I could not take it anymore so I took a shot on calling upon God. He answered me. My pain was gone. I was full of joy. I had hope again. All the hope that was squeezed out of me was replaced ten times. I had tried this in many different ways. None of them succeeded in saving me from hurt. Well , I was so full of joy that I wanted all of my friends to feel the way I did. So I told all of them, and of course they couldn't understand, since it was something that I had been going through myself. And also it is such a far thing to grasp, that it is easier to just blow it off." check out the whole letter here
He also sings for Fire Theft.
I'm sure Jeremy must be sick of the Christianity angle (The first song on this album is called A New Beginning, and it's a great set up for the album) but it really helps to understand. It takes balls in the indie world to proclaim Jesus. I don't hear the Jesus in this record. I do hear him singing to a higher power. I hear hope. I hear the heavy drama of a true religious battle. I hear the hint of something otherworldly. The record is very deep, nice to listen to, rich in archetypical sounds, passionate in the voice, richly recorded and layered. The drift floats and then anchors in rich shifts of composition and the voice leads the band through the turns.
This album will be self released on Lewis Hollow next month.
Jeremy Enigk mp3
Been Here Before