By Nikki Butgereit
The new album from Jeremy Enigk, former singer and primary songwriter of Sunny Day Real Estate, is a melancholy trip to the depths of emo. Unfortunately, it never makes its way back from the pits.
The album begins with the instrumental track “A New Beginning,” a jubilant symphony of violins and dramatic chiming bells. Here is where the pep begins and ends as the remainder of the album has a folksy, contemplative, philosophical vibe that’s rather depressing.
Musically, the album is long on depth. The songs layer violin and mandolin on top of piano and guitar. The melodies are sweeping and sometimes powerful, but even the “upbeat” songs are downers. “City Tonight” has the closest thing to a driving rock beat you’ll find on this album, but it still keeps the pace at a slow drag.
Enigk’s first solo venture in 10 years has none of the vigor and punch of the early Sunny Day Real Estate, which is unfortunate. While the songs are solid and the compositions lush, the moony lyrics and snail’s pace make the album exhausting to listen to and difficult to enjoy.