SWAN LAKE – Enemy Mine (2009)

Swan Lake - Enemy Mine Three of the most distinctive voices in the indie rock scene share the stage in Swan Lake. I say “voices” because it works nicely on two levels, i.e., 1) as a testament to the creative prowess of the members, and 2) a literal comment on the uniqueness of Spencer Krug, Dan Bejar and Carey Mercer’s vocals. All three members sing in Swan Lake, and you’re never at loss to when they switch the vocal duties around. Any change is instantly recognizable, even if you don’t know their names, or which one has the awesome hair.

So, Enemy Mine is the second album by Swan Lake, and, like many sophomore albums, it doesn’t reach the same level of quality that its predecessor (Beast Moans) did. That album perfectly blended together a mix of rich pop with weird, jagged clusters of noise. Enemy Mine, on a structural level, functions in much the same way; however, most of the music feels strangely empty. Granted, strangely empty is still something, but it’s certainly not whatI was expecting. There’s nothing on the album that approaches the otherworldly beauty of Shooting Rockets, for example (a song which Bejar expanded on last year’s excellent Destroyer album, Trouble In Dreams).

The big question, of course, is whether or not Enemy Mine is replayable despite it’s overall shortcomings. Personally, I’m not sure how much I’ll return to it in the future, but I’ll hang on to it just in case. Yes, I know this review was rather vague, but it is a reflection of what I am forced to deal with; Enemy Mine is every bit as vague as the writing here. Will it be one of those few, precious albums that I’ll pull out, years from now, and suddenly, “get?” Possibly. But in order for that to happen, I’ve got to forget it, first.

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