Album Review
I Can Make A Mess - Enola Album Cover

I Can Make A Mess - Enola

Reviewed by
I Can Make A Mess - Enola
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: June 11, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Bloody hell, Ace Enders is one extremely talented young man. Driving force of The Early November (a band that pretty much everyone ever likes) and the brain behind a copious amount of side projects, Mr Enders probably has more musical talent in his little finger than many bands have overall and, yet again, he has returned to remind us of his general awesomeness. This time, we're dealing with I Can Make A Mess, the project with which Enders lets out his somewhat indie baiting side. Whilst apparently he can't make a mess like nobody's business anymore, Enola is a beautiful mess of folk leanings, soft vocals and sleepy tones.

The best way of describing Enola that comes to mind is that the record is a little like what would have happened if Owl City's Ocean Eyes had achieved all of the things it seemed to be aiming for. Enola is a delicate album which provides just enough pop to make it commercially viable, whilst maintaining the integrity and earnestness we've come to expect from Mr Enders. Throughout the record, I Can Make A Mess goes through very many modes; soaring folk and dubstep tinged synth stuff (all the stuff that P4k gives best new music to, basically) being the two main choices. It’s safe to say that with this record, I Can Make A Mess is taking directly from the music scene of 2013, however what sets Enola apart is the fact that it adds that heart and passion to a musical landscape that seems barren of actual, real emotions.

Just a skim through the record shows how eclectic Mr Enders’ musical palette is. The opening title track throws us straight into an atmospheric, acoustic lull with Enders’ voice driving forward underneath the layers of simplistic but effective instrumentation. It’s a beautiful opener which draws the listener in to I Can Make A Mess’ wonderful, sweet alternative world. “Adaptation Cell” is firmly grounded that world as well. Enders’ voice is on top form. Every lyric is cloaked in likeability and Enders’ friendly tone and at times it feels like listening to your best friend’s new album. “Lions” showcases his lyrical and vocal talent like no other track on Enola. Both urgent and elegant, Enders’ tone and delivery makes the listener want Enders to achieve everything he’s aiming for because he seems so wonderfully nice.

Other tracks display a tougher side to I Can Make A Mess’ canon. “Listen Lesson/ Keep Away” revels in a dubstep tinged, club electro atmosphere and, despite my general aversion to ‘club’ music, it’s actually a highlight of the record. The snappy beat and almost rap like chorus are so infectious that this is the ultimate in tasteful good times summer songs. “What Happens Now” is both seductive and incredibly sweet. However, it’s so submerged in synth and gloss that it seems almost impossible that this is the voice of The Early November. That’s not a bad thing, however it does come as a slight shock to a fan of TEN. Be warned, do not expect The Rooms Too Cold or anything in any way remotely TEN like. I Can Make A Mess is a very different monster.

Overall, Enola is an excellent album. I Can Make A Mess has created a record that satisfies any fan of modern indie music, whilst not falling into the trap of ever being pretentious or throwaway. It’s not flawless - occasionally the eclecticism feels a bit discordant - however, it creates a beautiful, magical world away from all the hardships of life and provides both an escape and a soundtrack to the good times. Wonderful work.

Recommended If You LikeBon Iver, Bon Iver; Iron and Wine; dreaming

Additional InformationTrack Listing
1. Enola
2. Wrinkle
3. Close Enough
4. Adaptation Cell
5. Listen Less/ Keep Away
6. Tidal Wave
7. Lions
8. Ancient Crows
9. What Happens Now
10. Burn It All Down
11. Thin White Line

Band Members
Ace Enders


Official Website
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 34
08:17 AM on 06/15/13
Ryan Gardner
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I need to spend more time with this but I've really enjoyed it on my first few listens. "Listen Lesson/ Keep Away" has been my early favorite.

Great record and great review.
08:48 AM on 06/15/13
Registered User
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Great review. Am I crazy to think this is the best to be released under the I Can Make a Mess name? There's no tracks I dislike, and as much as I loved the previous two albums, they at least both had a track or two that did nothing for me.
06:19 PM on 06/15/13
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I was so excited for this album, and after several listens i can finally say I really enjoy it. I was NOT expecting it to sound how it did. The World We Know is my favorite album of all time, so I was really surprised to hear so much synth etc. in this album and it took some getting used to. I also think Ace is strongest in his upper register, and he doesn't go there until the second half of the album. But once i got used to those two things, I was free to really dive in to the album and see what it has to offer, and it's beautiful.
10:25 PM on 06/15/13
Ser Ben Wyatt
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Great review. Am I crazy to think this is the best to be released under the I Can Make a Mess name? There's no tracks I dislike, and as much as I loved the previous two albums, they at least both had a track or two that did nothing for me.
I'm in the low populated camp who didn't much enjoy his first ICMAM album, but I love the previous two. I'd say this is definitely on the same level, but probably better than both of them.
11:29 AM on 06/16/13
Still the greatest
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SLADE775's Avatar
I think it's a good album.
03:13 PM on 06/16/13
NoScene NoHerd
Registered User
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Cool review, made me want to check this out!
05:20 AM on 06/17/13
Johnny Famous
Becoming a jackal..
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Fantastic review, an enjoyable read, and definitely reflects the album well. For me each album has been so uniquely different. I've absolutely loved the previous three and TWWK has to be my all time favourite album. This album is easily up there with it and i can honestly say the best album i've heard in a while! Thin White Line has to be the highlight for me. Also if youre going to listen to this album for the first time i'd recommend through headphones, relaxing and with no distractions.
05:37 AM on 06/17/13
Hunger makes me a modern girl
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wanielledalsh's Avatar
Great review. I love this album. I love it I love it. It's like the postal service and the self titled made a baby.
06:06 AM on 06/17/13
Ignore that sinking feeling
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FigureItOut's Avatar
Nice review. On my first listen last Monday, I was dozing on and off while listening to the album late at night, and kept waking up 'cause I was so caught off guard every time each song started. It's definitely nothing close to what I was expecting, even with Ace saying a while back that the songs were going to be completely different from everything else he's done.

After listening to the record several times a day for the past week, pretty much every song on here has grown on me. "Enola" "Adaptation Cell" and "Listen Lesson / Keep Away" are my absolute favorites, though, and I do sometimes find myself skipping "Close Enough" and "Tidal Wave". And while I still don't think I'll ever love it as much as the S/T or TWWK, Ace has definitely proven to me that he can craft really great songs in pretty much any style of music.
06:33 AM on 06/17/13
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jordalsh's Avatar
love this record.
06:51 AM on 06/17/13
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baton's Avatar
The album is wonderful, and that's a good review.. I'd recommend everyone to listen to it on headphones, some cool stuff going in the background, and those drums in 'Lions, just incredible, overally fantastic ideas utilised in 1 album, I'd be happy with some more soaring vocals, cause mostly the tones are sleepy like you said, but that's also really good, and for soaring vocals we (luckily) have TEN.
06:58 AM on 06/17/13
Faith In More Than Steel
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atticusfinch's Avatar
Listen Lesson sounds like a passion pit cover, which isn't a bad thing at all.

I enjoy the record more and more as I continue to experience repeat listens. Very solid release, Ace!
07:10 AM on 06/17/13
An H Chord
Regular Member
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Tidal Wave makes me think about playing sonic. Such a great album not what I was expecting at all.
07:30 AM on 06/17/13
Spencer Control
i am orange and i can grow wings
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I'm really enjoying this album - my only complaints are that the mixing seems really off; sometimes Ace's vocals seem completely lost under the music, and other times he drowns them out. That's, unfortunately, not a minor gripe, but it's also not a gamebreaker. That leads to my second issue, which is the occasionally discordant nature of the music. Still really enjoying it, all the same.

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