Image © 2001 Reactive Records
(06 June 2001) The latest album from West Of Eden, entitled
Rollercoaster (Reactive Records (Sweden), is the second from
this six-piece Celtic crossover group. Comprised of twelve average
length tracks, the band has developed their sound, making it even
more accessible than on their self-titled debut album
Fronted by stunning vocalist Jenny Schaub who also plays accordion,
the band also consists of Martin Schaub (piano, keyboard, acoustic
guitar, mandolin, harmony vocals, accordion and additional
electric guitar), Lars Borg (bass), David Ekh (electric guitars,
dobro, e-box, nylon-stringed guitars), Ola Karlevo (drums,
percussion) and Tobias Edvardson (fiddle and harmony vocals).
Guest performances by David Stiernholm (whistles, oboe) and
Jorgen Fischer (Uillean pipes), Sventa Gustafsson (bodhran)
and others as well as a four-piece a string ensemble on four
of the tracks round out the album's lineup. The album was
written by Martin and Jenny Schaub.
The upbeat title track that reintroduces familiar audiences
to Jenny's sweet voice opens the album. Layers of harmony vocals
and traditional instrumentation blend during the chorus contributing
to the accessibility of the band's sound. "The One" and "Hold
Your Horses" continue to develop the band's accessible sound,
uptempo with richly arranged vocals and lush arrangements
blending modern with traditional instruments.
The traditional folk-oriented ballad "(I Still Remember) How To
Forget" begins with a calling whistle part before Jenny's gentle
lead vocal begins to carry the tune. A contemporary arrangement
of traditional instruments during the bridge is highly notable.
"Short & Sweet" and "Mandolin Song" are similarly arranged but
are both vocally more delicate. Jenny's vocals in "My Alien" are
delightful and are mixed way up; the acoustic guitar is wonderful.
The "Crescent Moon" and "The Swings" ballads are quite enjoyable
with Jenny's vocals being perfectly complimented by the supporting
arrangements, especially in the tracks' choruses.
The upbeat tunes "In A Little While" and Corrs-like "Didn't
You, Didn't I" balance pop accessibility with folk roots in typical
West of Eden style blending traditional with modern instrumentation.
Instrumental work in the bridge of each track is especially
notable. The album closes with an everso quiet ballad entitled
"Just That I Love You" dominated by Jenny's vocals with very
light, almost non-existent instrumental backing.
You can find out a lot more about West of Eden at their
website. There you'll
find photos, further information, soundbites and ordering
information. A most enjoyable follow-up album perfectly blending
stunning vocals with traditional and modern instrumentation, this
new one from West of Eden is worth a trans-Atlantic journey
and is a must listen!