While most "promo only" CDs aren't worth a plug nickel, here's one of those rare ones worth seeking. This five-songer was recorded in the same Bobcat studio where Enigk made his Return of the Frog Queen LP, only this time the man and his nine-piece orchestra are recorded live, August 29, 1996, in front of an audience that included radio contest winners. Seattle-ites taped this off the radio, as it was recorded for broadcast on KNDD's show The End, hosted by Marco Collins, who also composed the liner notes on this otherwise generic promo. Sent out to critic and radio types to hype Enigk's February-March U.S. tour, this CD benefits from arresting sound, as well as some sharp performances by brass and woodwinds player Jim Dejoie and others in the orchestra, who are crisp and sharp in this live setting. Though Enigk himself badly blows a vocal note on "Abegail Anne," that just makes this more documentary, and his full-throated, wild wailing on "Carnival" is just stupendous, just mind-blowing. Orchestral pop may never sound more alive than this.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid