I love finding new stuff. Especially when that stuff is music.
A few days ago, my friend told me about a man named Ace Enders, the former frontman for The Early November and now an entrepreneur for his solo project, Ace Enders and a Million Different People. Apparently, as my friend told me, he was giving away his entire debut album, The Secret Wars, via Fuse.tv. So I checked it out, and (what do you know?) I loved it.
To the naked eye (/ear?), there's nothing too special about his album. With just 8 tracks totaling a mere 33 minutes of play, Ace doesn't really bring anything new to the scene. His clean cut appearance profiles his look with a select few alt rockers that actually look like normal people (see Weezer, Spoon). His crisp, clear voice is alluring, but it's nothing you haven't heard before. What he does with his instrumentals is...well...unremarkable.
But don't these descriptions of barren normalcy draw allusions to a certain Bruce Springsteen? The Boss is the perfect picture of average, appealing to millions with average lyrics about average things. His average characteristic of true genuineness is what makes him so associable to begin with. Probably the only thing that stands him apart from an average 1980s construction worker is a louder voice and the enlisting of one E Street Band. As a representative of all things that we do, in fact, see every day, Springsteen has become one of the most iconic legends in rock history.
Granted, Ace Enders is a different kind of normal. While Springsteen was normal to 30 year old truckers in the Pacific Northwest in 1980, Enders relates to a more modern sense of social standards, circa late 1990s. His sort of post-grunge, emotive blandness comes off as homely as grandma's fresh baked dinosaur cookies, with a bedtime story to boot. One might think that this description would make him seem a little past his time, and he is. Fortunately, music transcends the rigid structures of the calendar. That's why The Beatles were famous in 1960, Oasis was loved in 1995, and OK Go is adored now.
26-year old Mr. Enders may not have the lasting power of Bruce Springsteen, and The Secret Wars will not see the success that Born To Run or Born in the U.S.A. did. That extra and virtually unidentifiable touch is there, though, and although I doubt you'll make this album one for the record books, the pleasant experience that is Ace Enders and a Million People is undeniable. I invite you to check him out.
5. Body Like Mind
8. Bring Back Love (Year 2020)