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Return of the Frog Queen

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Aug. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B0000035HJ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,714 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Abegail Anne
  2. Return Of The Frog Queen
  3. Lewis Hollow
  4. Lizard
  5. Carnival
  6. Call Me Steam
  7. Explain
  8. Shade And The Black Hat
  9. Fallen Heart

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album is made by its smooth guitar twangs and Jeremy's unique(in a good way!), flowing voice. The Return of the Frog Queen is actually like a fairy tale, and i think once youve started listening to this album, you wont stop for ages! Its quiet, folky tunes, but with a space age, crystally twist to them. I reccommend this to anyone who likes ANY music, go out and listen now!! Jeremy used to be in a band called the Sunny Day Real Estate- give them a listen too if you like his solo stuff. Enigk!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbindingly, heartwrenchingly magical 19 April 2004
By Campbell Roark - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those albums that just stays with me- I've often said and I truly think this- some works of art are like a nexus- they are steeped a personal connotation that not only makes them special for the individual listener, they work brings out the listener's (or the reader's/watcher's- what have you) sense of his or her self as distinct and unrepeatable. This CD does that for me. It's magical. But all great art is.
It's a short album. Nine songs clocking in at 29'27". The tone is definitely not what one would expect from the singer and guitarist from one of the more powerful, under-rated and viscerally enchanting bands of the 90's- Sunny Day Real Estate. If you were there in '94 or '95 and you heard them- well, then you know what I'm talking about here. Stylistically this sounds like something Syd Barrett might have done if it had occurred to him. The songs are mostly acoustic fare with Enigk's plaintively strained vocals (a caveat- his voice either pulls you into the room stroking your chin or sends you out, ears cupped to your head, agog) and strange lyrics. There are string sections and chimes- at times it sounds like he's the pied piper leading children away to a different world... Most of the songs are upbeat, major key fare (the appropriately titled `Carnival,' being the one overtly dark song). Don't think them happy though... The emotions conveyed are hard to pin down, like Proteus, like Silenus...
I rarely do this but here- track by track...
Abegail Anne: album opens with two chords strummed and a droning noise. Jeremy's vocals slip in the backdoor and murmur away... This song builds and builds fantastically... And was used incredibly well in the film, `Dream with the Fishes,' the director or whomever structured the film's climactic scene to this brief and gorgeous song that sounds like dawning epiphany and madness... I love it. Succinct opener to this- about 3 minutes long.
Return of the Frog Queen: Dreamy and sleepy song, sounds sorta like a western lullaby at first, with J's hushed vox but then the bridge adds some danger... Pretty and evocative.
Lewis Hollow: Sounds similar to track one. Just Jeremy and his guitar, strumming the same harmonic progression, repeatedly which PERFECTLY segues into-
Lizard: also starts out with a circular, chime-like acoustic line. But other instruments start creeping in like lizards, settling on leaves around Jeremy. The wind instruments are lovely. As the tension mounts J's vocals become harsher and harsher- the song ends with a simple guitar/violin line that is sublime.
Carnival: The centerpiece of the album. Starts off darkly, a clean-tone electric guitar plays softly, Drums and bass come in with J's voice. The song lives up to its name with the sweeping string section. J's vocals are jagged and strained, alternately soft/loud, this one is like a sudden nightmare in the middle of an exquisite daydream. The strings whirl and keen, and the propulsive urgency builds and builds. And then stops. Right around the 4 minute mark.

Call Me Steam: My favorite, and another dreamlike, lullaby beginning, with strings that weepingly surround J's vocals, buttressing the melody line. The `rise and shine,' lyric calls to mind that he sang it almost the exact way on SDRE's LP 2. This one is so understatedly beautiful it just kills me. Later on, J's doubles his vocals and harmonizes with himself. This song is so pure and tender it calls to mind Dostoevsky's `The Idiot.' I wish someone had sung this to me as a baby.
Explain: what is it with those circular (reminds me of SDRE's `In Circles,') guitar parts, this one builds quickly to a wonderful chorus (how can I explain dear, you've been gone for some time, but I still believe you'll be here oh no again). Every time I hear it I smile. There's so much yearning and joy in this little song. More strings that luminously wrap around the guitar vocals. Ties with the next song as my second favorite.
Shade and the Black hat: Now it's the piano playing a circular piece, with a hastily strummed guitar and urgently delivered vocals. Drums on this one and it quickly builds and builds, like a man dashing up a mountain to save something dear to him, the strings tempestuously rising and falling around. Around the 2 and half mark the whole song just ecstatically explodes for the next minute and a half...
Fallen Heart: starts with the orchestra tuning up and getting on key, but this is just a ruse- the song is pretty much a guitar loop played backwards, Jeremy sings over top of it, like a strange child. Occasionally an instrument adds a dash of flavor to the mix, but mostly its just the loop and J's soft voice. You get a tiny bassline around 1:45, then the song just ends abruptly with the orchestra.
And that's it. I've been known to put this on repeat (especially around finals week in college) and sit at computer and type away for hours. Great music for any occasion.
Whoever said that music is the `soundtrack to your life,' he is a simplistic moron- a frikkin' engineer and a damn salesman. Music is so much more than that. My whole sense of life, all the restless wistfulness, the impotence, the alternating currents of youth- wonder and anguish for me, all those feelings rise to the surface of my mind when I listen to this gem. If you dig Brian Eno, SDRE, Syd Barrett, Leonard Cohen, Tom waits, or strange gorgeous music in general I recommend this to you.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Regained! A little of a lost paradise 25 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Do you remember the feeling of being on a fairground carousel for the first time? That feeling of floating and turning, that is only a fleeting memory? Well, here it is, recaptured on this album for half an hour, by SDRE's Jeremy Enigk. Mr Enigk recreates a time when plants were tall and mysterious, details of a pebble fasinating and the silvery trail of a snail a thing of complete wonder: Childhood in all it's whirling magical splendor. Inanimate objects reveal strange personalities. Limits are unknown. Dreams are real. Yet within lies sadness. A thread of loss and unrequited love winds through every song. This sense of longing, accompanied by a glimmer of hope, has been pulled out from somewhere deep within and given substance. A beautiful album.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent lo-fi stuff 5 April 2003
By Shadowgraphs - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD to satisfy those cravings I've had for new Sunny Day stuff that have gone unsatisfied due to only having three songs by their present incarnation (a 3-piece group known as The Fire Theft). I expected this to be good, but nowhere near the caliber I've come to expect from the greatest inde band on Earth.
Let's just say that I was pleasantly surprised.
In terms of Enigk's recordings with Sunny Day Real Estate, only Lp2 is better than this. Every song is incredible, subconciously messing with the brain by making it think that the music is simple when it really is extremely complex and vice versa. It sounds like Neutral Milk Hotel's classic In The Aeroplane Over the Sea with more empathis on musicality (vocals, orchestration, ect...) than profound lyrics, containing the same level of energy and playfulness. Like the aforementioned album, this is a celebration of life to the sound of an acoustic guitar accompanied by a few 'traditional" instruments (in this case, a full orchestra which is surprisingly subtle in its arrangements). Jeremy is an expert songwriter, as indicated by the mastery found here on every song, from the Lp2-esque "Abegail Anne" to "Explain," which may very well be the best song Enigk ever wrote with any group, to the musical palindrome of "Fallen Heart." Do not delay in picking up a copy of this. You will not regret it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best C.D.'s of the '90's? 6 Oct. 2005
By Michael Thomas Roe - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have very enthusiastically called this CD one of the best CD's of the 1990's. Sure, I listen to a lot of classic rock and soundtrack music (odd combination, I know), and may not be the best expert here (ok, get your "unhelpful" buttons ready), but there is something charming, sophisticated, gorgeous and brilliant going on here. I haven't heard a CD that gets everything so "right" at all the right places. Mr. Enigk has put together something that far surpasses his contemporaries and nails the 1960's pop British psychedelia with some downright heart wrenching vocal performances. Did I mention that the orchestral instrumentation is impeccable? OK, I'll stop gushing, but I think you get the picture. Even the most jaded will feel the heat of the tracks "Explain" and "Shade and The Black Hat". Treat yourself to this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album 1 Mar. 2016
By FilmComposer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an interesting album, from the album title, artwork, to the lyrics and music. But I definitely dig it. Jeremy is just such a great songwriter and lyricist. I wish he would put out more stuff :)
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