I Can Make A Mess – The World We Know tracklisting
Ace Enders has been productive but polarizing since he released his career-defining album The Room’s Too Cold with The Early November in 2003. His then-side-, solo project I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business produced a self-titled full-length the following year that was as well received as The Room’s Too Cold and has aged well, still finding its way onto fans’ playlists right next to TEN classics like “Ever So Sweet” and “Baby Blue.”
But the next five years heard a frustrated Enders’ struggle with conflicting but equally ambitious visions. The Early November’s last bundle of albums, a triple-disc set entitled The Mother, the Mechanic, and The Path, told a convoluted and virtually indecipherable grand-scheme story through often oversimplified and caricature-esque songs. Although the first two discs contained gems in “Decoration,” “Hair,” “Little Black Heart,” and a few others, The Path was an overambitious delve into theatrical rock that did much less to hold together a storyline, despite blatant spoken-word interludes, than it did to prompt many patient Early November fans to quench the itches on their heads.
Then it came out that The Early November’s three-year delay between albums was largely due to Drive-Thru Records’ dissatisfaction with several final products of the triple-disc. The now-defunct label forced the now-defunct band to re-record the record, much to Enders’ chagrin. The Early November announced an indefinite hiatus less than a year later.
In 2009, Enders released When I Hit The Ground under Ace Enders & A Million Different People. The album is as catchy and well written as any of Enders’ past efforts, but lacks the subtle originality and creativity of The Room’s Too Cold, I Can Make A Mess…, and even The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path. A hangover from Enders’ frustration with Drive-Thru that contributed to The Early November’s demise might have been a factor. Or perhaps it was the birth of his first son that calmed him down and, for lack of a better way to put it, aged Enders square.
But last month, in what suddenly seems like a common succession of artistic direction, Enders is going back to basics…sort of. He announced the return of the six-years-dormant I Can Make A Mess… and that the first of three albums to be released this year would be available March 3. Sound alarmingly familiar?
To make Ace fans’ nails even shorter, according to I Can Make A Mess’s MySpace, the album, although divided into 11 tracks, would consist of “one 40-minute song” that “never really stops.” Wwwwuh-oh.
All Enders’ past semi-blunders aside, though, the one new song (or two songs, or half a song?) available for streaming on I Can Make A Mess’s MySpace suggests that this triple-disc saga is not just another overblown musical jerk-off session. “Old Man……………………..You’re Not So Good At Talking Anymore” is light and airy, cleanly produced, and full of Enders’ signature warm vocal harmonies. The bell-like guitar riffs and finger-plucks create a nostalgic air that echoes 2004-ICMAM but doesn’t try to recreate it. As long as the rest of the record is distinguishable within the context of this formula, Enders just might extend his potential-soaked career rather than let it dissolve in the salty brine of the desperate music industry.
1. Sleep Means Sleeping
2. My Hands Hurt
3. Old Man………………………
4. You’re Not So Good At Talking Anymore
6. No Idea Where I’m Going
7. Stop Smoking Because It’s Not Good For You
8. 100 Dollar Bills
9. Baby Steps
10. Light Voices Long Rides
11. Telling Me Goodbye
The World We Know will be released March 23. Listen to “Old Man…………………..You’re Not So Good At Talking Anymore” on ICMAM’s MySpace.