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We Were Enchanted

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Album Review

In 2006 Roommate — which was at that point really the solo project of Kent Lambert — issued the excellent Songs the Animals Taught Us, an album that was simultaneously full and sparse, which supplemented the electronic elements with various organic strings and layered vocals. In early 2007, Lambert, who by this time had assembled a full band, put out a digital-only EP which hinted at the direction things were headed, a direction only fully realized on We Were Enchanted, a wonderfully complete, intricate album that makes Songs look unfinished and bare in comparison. Typical song structure and set verses, choruses and breaks are not a main consideration for Lambert, but his sense of melody — one that makes even the most rambling passages coherent — and his arrangements give all the tracks on We Were Enchanted a purpose, an understanding that they're part of the bigger whole. The title track, with its shimmery keys and lush instrumentation, sounds almost like an early Peter Gabriel song, "San Jacinto" perhaps, but while with a lesser band this could end up as overbearingly cheesy, Roommate make it something utterly modern, thoughtful but not sentimental, and as each section in the eight-minute song passes a greater understanding is reached. "Bring us medicine but don't bring us health/...Bring us something else" Lambert cries as the intensity builds behind him, the piece closing in a windy rush of the conclusion of thoughts uttered before. The songs build and grow, only collapsing just before they've reached their zenith; it's a living, breathing work, one that develops and grows with the passage of time and with the listener, a complete but not completed picture, leaving room for interpretation and exploration and all the other things that make truly good music so lasting, and one that makes We Were Enchanted such a compelling release.

Biography

Formed: Colorado Springs, CO

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The idea for Roommate, the alter ego/group of Colorado Springs native Kent Lambert, came about in 2000, after Lambert, a graduate of the University of Iowa who was working in New York City in the acquisitions department of a film distribution company, began writing little songs that his Brooklyn roommate and college friend Noah Minnick suggested he record. After attending a film premiere that starred River Phoenix's sister, Summer, and seeing members of the Phoenix family in person, Lambert wrote...
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We Were Enchanted, Roommate
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