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Spring Tides

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Album Review

It's the packaging that prompts the first feelings of unease when you encounter this album: a sort of double-gatefold digipack with an unconnected liner booklet printed on near-cardstock-weight paper, all wrapped in a cutaway slipcase and decorated with star maps. (And no track list on the outside. Track lists are apparently for shallow people.) It's as if the band is trying to convince you of the music's significance before you hear it. And when you do fight your way through the packaging to the music itself, what you encounter is not a shock: Jeniferever's sound is big, sometimes a bit chaotic, bordering on the bombastic, with one foot kept pretty constantly in a warm puddle of self-absorption. This is not a disastrous formula: on songs like "Ox-Eye" the band's echoey, wide-open sound evokes early U2 at its most exalted, and "Sparrow Hills" is lovely; "Concrete and Glass" is perhaps a bit overdone, but the fun instrumental effects and the massed vocals are really quite effective. "The Hourglass" is exceptionally pretty, and the album-closing title track shows how spectacularly beautiful Jeniferever's music can be when the group reins in its tendency towards sonic excess. But elsewhere there are moments of really overweening self-indulgence (check out the self-consciously hip "Nangijala") and the lyrics often come across as loosely connected strings of words and phrases designed more to take up space than to communicate any real ideas ("We're stuck in similar little spaces in which we breathe the morning in/The cocoons in which we reside while missing the places we missed.") Jeniferever shows some serious potential on this album, but much of it remains to be realized.


Formed: 1996 in Uppsala, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Receiving comparisons ranging from Mogwai to the Appleseed Cast, Sweden's Jeniferever are Kristofer Jönson (vocals, guitar), Martin Sandström (guitar), Olle Bilius (bass, keyboard), and Fredrik Aspelin (drums). Formed in 1996, the atmospheric post-rock band finally released an EP by 2002, followed by a split CD with the Next Autumn Soundtrack in 2003. Two years later the band issued the Iris EP...
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Spring Tides, Jeniferever
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