Eden is a paradise full of joy and happiness. Due west of Eden, you
will find the well-produced and arranged original music of this group
from Sweden that has developed a personalized signature contemporary
folk sound with Celtic and soft rock expression. Lead vocalist Jenny
Schaub has silky smooth delivery that immediately enraptures us. This
band has abundant talent, and Martin Schaub's singing on "My Kind
of Town" is also an aural treat. I'd like to hear him sing more
than three on the next album. West of Eden's songs like "Auburn
Skies," "The Words I Forgot to Say," "True Believer," "Time," and "Ghost
of You" are innovative, imaginative, lyrical, melodic, and inspirational.
While often sad or incorporating nostalgic musings, the pensive messages
are evocative and thought-provoking.
The band's electric guitar, fiddle, drums, and keys are supplemented
with a full string section arranged and conducted by band member and
multi-instrumentalist Martin Schaub. The full-bodied robust string ensemble
is almost too much on "Immortal," and it might have been nice
to include a couple more lean, raw-boned arrangements (without percussion
and string section) on "Four" for a little contrast. Sung by
Martin, "Could Have Been" appears at track ten, and it is a
mellow, reflective composition in this vein. Smart move! Guests also
add bass throughout, as well as whistle, banjo, dobro, or sax in spots.
"Four" has very strong material and musicianship that crosses the
bridges between genres. While Celtic-based, their vision is simply to present
quality music with broad appeal. It's also music to contemplate. Apparently
still self-released independently, I would hope that record labels are sitting
up and taking notice of West of Eden's musicianship, messages and, I dread
to say it, commercial appeal. But that is a bottomline in a cut-throat, ruthless
and competitive music industry. They have been together since 1995 and are
deserving of a larger audience for their original music. They have a seductive
kind of charm. While many of their songs "deal with how time inevitably
leaves us behind," I hope that West of Eden's music isn't soon forgotten.
At present, their albums can be ordered at cdon.com, tayberry.com, or at westofeden.com.
- Folk and Roots