Enon’s Believo! (2000)

Believo!

Album: Believo!
Artist: Enon
Year: 2000
Reason Featured: #15 Album for Pitchfork’s Top Twenty Albums of 2000
My Favorite Songs: Rubber Car, Believo!, Come Into, Get the Letter Out, World in a Jar
Their Grades: Pitchfork (8.0/10)
My Grade: 90%

I got into Brainiac last year so I feel like it’s only appropriate I get into the band which rose from their ashes this year. Suffice to say, I like this as much, if not more, as the Brainiac stuff I’ve heard. Where Brainiac succeeded in creating a uniquely synthesized take on punk in particular, Enon manages to bring all sorts of elements together to create a cohesive and unpredictable sound. On Believo!, they incorporate every slick sounding trick indie rock had come up with in the previous decade and most of the ones it would come up with in the new one.

There are falsettos and baritones, industrial beats and bass mixed with whistling keyboards, and that’s all just on the first track (“Rubber Car”). “Cruel” sounds like it could’ve been on the Fire Walk with Me soundtrack, Tom Waits’ Bone Machine and Portishead’s Dummy all at once. “Conjugate the Verbs” starts out as prototype Postal Service but gives way to more aggression than Ben Gibbard has ever allowed for himself to express. “Believo!” shows them producing a Kid A style track before it was historically possible to rip off Kid A. “Come Into” may be the most conventional indie rock song on here but it’s still got its own edge.

The first three quarters are out of this world and the final fourth is coming back into the atmosphere for a safe landing (but, then again, “Biofeedback” has that more-human-Kraftwerk thing going for it which makes it such a kickass way to close out a record). So none of it’s bad and most of it’s on the same level of the groups they borrowed from or predicted coming into existence, whether that be Brainiac or anyone else. What I’m trying to say is: this may be the greatest sampler of everything cool about rock in the nineties and early 2000s to ever be recorded by a single band. In other words, you could show someone your favorite tracks from Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack and so on or you could just throw on Believo! and they’d still get the point.

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