I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business - The World We Know
Record Label: None
Release Date: March 23, 2010
What a long, long way Ace Enders has come. Not many artists enjoy the career longevity that Enders has experienced. Spanning more than 10 years, coming all the way from posting demos on the long dead mp3.com, to turning The Early November into something legendary, and then finally parting ways to explore his own sound with the I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business project.
The latest release from ICMAM, The World We Know, essentially picks up where the previous record left off. This is a breathy and melodic album, emotional, yet laid back. The record is paced perfectly, with upbeat tracks transitioning flawlessly into slower, more vocal oriented songs. This arrangement creates a feeling that is often neglected and becoming more and more of a rarity in the music scene today. That feeling being that an actual album is being listened to, not just song after song, potential single after potential single. The World We Know is a brilliantly cohesive collection of songs that are all individual pieces of a much larger puzzle.
The production is nearly flawless. The music never overwhelms Enders’ singing, instead transforming his voice into an instrument itself, his vocals having never sounded better. Some might not care for the slight background conversation and ambiance that is noticeable at some points throughout the album, but this is actually a continuing theme for Enders' albums. Female vocals are delicately placed throughout the background of songs, creating an ethereal atmosphere which is alluring, soothing, and at times somewhat haunting. Ace has no problem carrying a song on his own, but the inclusion of the background vocals adds a certain depth to songs that are already beautifully layered and perfectly structured. The attention to detail is astounding, and the production shines.
The World We Know is a thoughtful, and at times, almost sad, album. There is a melancholy feel, expressed best in the tracks "My Hands Hurt," "Old Man...," and "Telling Me Goodbye." Ace has never had any trouble expressing his emotions, but this album feels particularly heartfelt and sincere. It's clear that this is a more sensitive, but also more mature, Ace. On “Old Man...” Ace reflects on the life he’s lived and the intricacies of relationships he’s formed. “Old man, you were young then, had so much love then, you traded for gradient things...” he sings in hushed tones, the song progressing into a somber open letter that seems to be coming from a forlorn lover or an individual at a crossroads wondering why things have unfolded in the manner they have. “Telling Me Goodbye,” the final track on the album, takes all of the elements which Ace has mastered and combines them into a powerhouse closer. Booming drums meet with layer upon layer of soaring vocals to create an intensely emotional song that is unsurprisingly about saying goodbye.
While many artists fade away, Ace Enders is an artist whose music has become increasingly impressive as time goes on. There is no shortage of emotion or talent anywhere on this record. It is difficult to think of another musician who has released such quality material over as many years, all the while evolving as an artist, yet staying true to the elements which made people fall in love with their music in the first place, but avoiding any feeling of repetitiveness or having become stale.
The World We Know is a reminder that the moppy-haired kid who used to sit on his bed, pouring his heart out with nothing but an acoustic guitar and his voice, he's still there. He never left really, he’s just a lot more grown up now. But so is everyone else who has been along for the duration of Enders’ ride.