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An Ornate Anthem of Personal Responsibility

In the past 10 years, Jeremy Enigk has experienced band break-ups, reunions and a widely publicized conversion to Christianity.
In the past 10 years, Jeremy Enigk has experienced band break-ups, reunions and a widely publicized conversion to Christianity.

It took a decade for former Sunny Day Real Estate and Fire Theft singer Jeremy Enigk to release a solo follow-up to his highly regarded 1996 album Return of the Frog Queen. In those 10 years, he's experienced band break-ups, reunions and a widely publicized conversion to Christianity — and what remains is a man who's grown up and brought his lovely voice and sweet melodies out from behind layers of blaring bluster.

On "River to Sea," Enigk reflects on his own existence, using the flow of water as a metaphor for life: By keeping at it and living right, the waters ultimately flow to a better place. With a melody eerily similar to John Lennon's "Merry X-Mas (War Is Over)," Enigk crafts an ornate anthem of personal responsibility — "Turn around / Your life is in your hands" — that can't help but read like an autobiographical life lesson. When he sings, "I've found my place / where I have longed to be," "River to Sea" sounds like the work of an artist who's finally located what he's looking for, unburdened by regrets.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at . He is also KEXP's assistant program director.