Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence

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With a track listing that spans six years and several different band lineups, Enon's singles, B-sides, and rare tracks collection Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence could have been too scattered for its own good, but it's actually one of the band's most enjoyable releases. There's something endearing about the twists and turns the band take as their music evolves from Believo!'s post-Brainiac spazz pop into the more stylish (but just as quirky) sounds of High Society and Hocus Pocus (the comp's liner notes give a playful nod to this evolution, marking the earliest tracks with eggs and tadpoles and the later songs with full-grown frogs). The try-anything approach on the whole collection -- even the tracks that don't entirely work -- holds it together and keeps it from sounding too exploded, despite the fact that the album gathers songs as disparate as "Marbles Explode," a skronky, Believo!-era artifact, and "Raisin Heart," a delicate, almost loungey track from a 2001 7". Some of the best tracks were "Songs of the Month" on the band's website: "Knock That Door" is quasi-Shibuya-kei that's as charming as anything by Takako Minekawa or Kahimi Karie, while "Adalania (Not So Fair)" is a piece of chamber synth pop that's kissing cousins with High Society's title track. These songs, along with the space invaders duet "The Nightmare of Atomic Men," "Tilt You Up!," and the gorgeous, bittersweet "Kanon," are as good as Enon's proper album tracks. Short bursts of sonic mischief like "Below Infinite Ways" and "Making Merry! Merry!" fill out the album, adding to its sugar-buzz-like rush. Given that it's an odds-n-sods collection, there are a few "off" tracks and a slightly random feel overall, but Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence revels in its eclectic eccentricities and ends up being all the better for it. The first edition of the comp comes with a bonus DVD that includes the most complete collection of Enon's videos to date, as well as live performances from the Believo! and Hocus Pocus tours and candid footage of the band. The videos are the real draw, celebrating the band's eye-popping visual flair with clips like "Daughter in the House of Fools," which looks like illustrations come to life, and the live-action anime of "In This City." The "Mikazuki" and "Murder Sounds" clips suggest that Enon could very easily do a video album -- especially since this collection and its bonus material make such a fun, creative package.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick