Enchant - Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10

Year of Release: 2000
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD064/SPV 085-41252CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:54:00

With Enchant having opened for Dream Theater, I was afraid that the new album would be harder than Break, but luckily Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10 is more like a combination of the more melodic sounds of the debut interspersed with the harder sounds of their later period. With huge media interest in the latest Kansas output [Somewhere To Elsewhere] and singer Steve Walsh [Glossolalia], needless to say Ted Leonard's vocal output will once again please fans who are into Kansas, Yes, Dream Theater, Marillion, Rush, Saga and even Queensryche.

It only takes you two seconds into the opening track "Paint The Picture" to fully understand what this new Enchant is all about. There are, to my liking, more keyboards here than on Break and Michael Geimer's keys blend tremendously well with the intense guitar solos of Doug Ott. The dynamic "Rough Draft" holds the energy of Dream Theater and the contemporary approach of Jadis yet in the very same song the band slows down, giving room to change the atmosphere a full 180?. In fact Enchant is more than just another progressive rock band along the line. They try to approach their music as if it's the current rock scene hence influences of up and coming indie bands can be heard throughout their music. Listen to "Bite My Tongue" which has the right ingredients to feature on MTV and be played to death on all the FM stations combined! There's even a Santana-like salsa bit included so what more could you ask for? The diversity continues when classical guitar introduces "Colors Fade." The catchy synth work is especially addictive.

Yet another illustration of the insertion of underground rock in their music comes with "Juggling Knives" which once again has that solid bass sound of Ed Platt all over. This is a song that could easily be a Live or Pearl Jam outtake! "Elyse" holds different rhythmic patterns that fold into one like a musical origami. Again Doug's guitar is used as magical "glue" to hold it all together. The same thing happens in "Broken Wave" because although drum and bass do a good job, it's Ted's voice and the guitar which are the absolute highlights with next to no keyboards. "Traces" holds that jazzy feel which has the music come over you as a tiny wave, but hold your horses, as this is only the intro. Soon all power is injected once again with drums and guitar dominating before the atmosphere changes yet again when voice and piano are isolated for a while. The short, acoustic "Know That" closes the album and if this is a taster for things to come then that's definitely the direction they have to take.

Juggling 9 or Dropping 10 sees Enchant go back to their melodic debut, leaving behind the wall of sound that was so apparent on Break. However I don't seem to really find the kind of songs that stick to your mind after hearing them for the very first time. All songs are well crafted yet, lack the great melodies - the kind of songs that stand out and which carry the entire album. For a band that's been together for such a long time they simply should be able to deliver the goods. They juggled with a lot of ideas but they dropped a great opportunity.

Also released by InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2017)

Paint The Picture (7:03) / Rough Draft (6:14) / What To Say (4:20) / Bite My Tongue (5:41) / Colors Fade (5:25) / Juggling Knives (5:02) / Black Eyes & Broken Glass (4:33) / Elyse (5:47) / Shell Of A Man (6:01) / Broken Wave (5:22) / Traces (7:19) / Know That (1:27)

Paul Craddick - drums, organs, pads, 'popeye' keys, organ, strings, mellotron, 'distorto' keys, harpsichord, acoustic guitar, bass, bass pedals, keys, Wurlitzer, piano, vibes
Michael 'Benignus' Geimer - solo keys (6)
Ted Leonard - vocals; bass (3)
Douglas Ott - guitars, keys, bass, bass pedals, ebow, piano, Moog, synths, organ, mellotron, backing vocals
Ed Platt - bass
Phil Bennett - solo keys (4)
Ernesto - narrator (4)
Los Enchantos - Senor Felipe's Guacamole Tango Section (4)

A Blueprint of the World (1995)
Wounded (1997)
Time Lost (1997)
Break (1998)
Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10 (2000)
Blink Of An Eye (2002)
Tug Of War (2003)
Live At Last (2004)
The Great Divide (2014)
Live At Last (2004) (DVD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.enchantband.com
Hits: 1271
Language: english


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