Jeremy Enigk supports his first solo album in over a decade - Oh My Rockness

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Jeremy Enigk supports his first solo album in over a decade

November 29, 2006
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Remember this guy? Sure, Jeremy Enigk may have faded from the limelight, but he has hardly been silent. He's just not the poster boy of indie rock like he once was. Ten years ago he was the Ben Gibbard of three years ago. Ah, the fickle folly that is the music business.

But how can you hardly be expected to maintain momentum when your debut (recorded when you were 19, no less) is widely considered to be one of the classic indie albums of our generation? Talk about pressure. The guy seemed destined to fall from such great heights. Not that he helped his cause with those Michael Jordan-esque band break-ups and that last SDRE album (ouch). But Enigk is back, baby!

Jeremy Enigk and his Seattle band, Sunny Day Real Estate, went out and released one of the best records of the 90's (Diary) on their very first try. The world was astonished by Enigk's heartfelt tenor over Rite-of-Spring-inspired riffs, and thus, EMO (minus the eyeliner) was born.

The band followed up with a strong self-titled offering (referred to sometimes as "The Pink Album") that could have propelled them to even greater fame, but they broke up before it was released. It's certainly hard to ride the hype train when you go and do that. But the guy had his famously known reasons. Enigk then put out a solo album that baffled many of his faithful listeners expecting more emo-core ("What's up with the frogs and acoustic guitar strums, Jeremy?"), but we liked it for the most part. His feelings must have changed after that, because the old band got back together (except for those Fighters called Foo) to release an album (How It Feels To Be Something On) that had a few good songs, before finishing their tenure with an album (The Rising Tide) that had one good song.

They broke up again for good (maybe, it's still early). Then there was The Fire Theft and that Ryan Gosling movie Jeremy scored, but those are boring stories for another time. What's more important than all that back story is that Enigk is back with his first solo album in over ten years. And his songs are solid once more.

World Waits is the name of the new album. Enigk's voice sounds as strong and strange and alluring as ever, hovering over these grandly orchestral songs. There's nothing punk about this guy these days. On stage, he's not going to stomp on his distortion pedal much anymore. He would rather save his energy for the times he runs over to play his favorite new instrument, the keyboard. So, it's no Diary, but thankfully it's also no The Rising Tide either. The songs are just kind of peacefully pretty. Some of his synth choices stumble (Mr. Gabriel, is that you?), but overall it's further proof that this guy will be around, in whatever incarnation he chooses, for at least another ten years. No doubt.

Jeremy Enigk plays The Bowery Ballroom, on Thursday, December 7th.

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