The Early November – The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path (CD)

The Early November – The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path / 2006 Drive-Thru / 46 Tracks / / / Reviewed 24 July 2006

In the 1970s, rock gave birth to a child embraced by all called the concept album. Since then, concepts have gone into hiding for the most part only to be resurfaced by The Early November in what could not be called merely a 3-disc set entitled, “The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path”. Taking a large risk and suffering many break-ups, The Early November’s front man Ace Enders worked like a madman and throwing his soul and mental health into a piece that could totally make or break the band while die-hard fans waited for 3 years. Starting on simple storyboards, the album slowly progressed to a long anticipated release. It is a 46-track voyage through a semi-autobiographical story of a boy who is forced to grow up quickly, learning fast lessons in family, independence, and love.

Disc 1, The Mechanic is more towards straight forward rock, spending most of the tracks electric. It opens up and sets the stage for the rest of the album. With many fans anticipating the disc containing the pre-released “Decoration”, the disc is pretty consistent in its theme of heavier rock.

Disc 2, The Mother slows the pace lightly and adding at times a bit of blues. This disc accents the group’s acoustic ballad feel first achieved in tracks like Ever So Sweet in The Room’s Too Cold (2002). This is audible in “From Here to LA”. It introduces more characters and takes you further into the story that the Early November is bringing forward.

Disc 3, The Path is guaranteed to be unlike anything you have ever heard. With a blend of haunting lyrics presented in both dialogue and vocals, the Path is meant to pull together all three albums and fill in any gaps the first 2 discs left. It is on this disc that the band presents what feels like all genres of music and, through Enders’ voice, the most pain it seems a human can present in song. Spanning from rock-opera to Dixieland to indie, the disc is stripped and completely diverse.

“The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path” dares to go somewhere few albums have. It is painfully honest, and allows one to clearly see what the artist set out to accomplish. The lyrics are always at their best, hoping to inspire using vocal tone to convey true feeling. Enders achieves what he wanted when he was envisioning this album, he uses a handful of different genres to make the listener feel as though they are watching the whole story unfold before them, anticipating just what is going to happen next.

Top Tracks: Decoration, Money in His Hand, Scared to Lose

Rating: 8/10


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