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West Of Eden (Debut) CD Cover
Image 1997 Tandem Records / Excellent Music 
 

(16 April 2000) West Of Eden's "This Piece Of Earth" is included in Narada's Faire Celts compilation (review). Their debut self-titled album (Tandem Records (Ireland) EKGCD002, 1997) is comprised of twelve progressive and traditional Celtic-flavoured tracks featuring the stunning lead vocal work of Jenny Schaub. She has been praised by Rock 'n Reel for her vocal work, being called "a primetime Sandy Denny." Clearly the traditional sounding track "Waltz For My Father" illustrates her vocal dexterity.

West Of Eden are from Gothenburg, Sweden. The group was formed in 1995 by four friends that had a desire to play Irish music. West Of Eden combine the musical language of traditional Celtic music with their own more pop-oriented background. Instrumentally West Of Eden mix electric guitars, keyboards, drums and bass with traditonal instruments like whistles, fiddle, accordian and mandolin. The result is a progressive Celtic sound, certain to please those with traditional as well as contemporary preferences. Further information about the band, images and soundbites are available at their website.

The ballad "Shamrock Hotel" opens the album. Jenny's stunning vocal is accompanied by a lovely piano melody and a calling whistle part. "This Piece Of Earth" is a new age Celtic combination arranged with lots of strings and brightly sung lead vocal. Certain to please many audiences is the track "High Ground," a contemporary track with crystalline vocals that rise above shimmering well-arranged instrumentals. "Hide and Seek" and "Where The Ivy Is Growing" are both soothing traditionally-rooted ballads enriched with bass and lovely harmonies.

"Raising O'Malley's Barn" is a moving traditional Celtic pop crossover track with excellent instrumental arrangements with lead vocals sung by Martin Schaub. He also sings the contemporary and well-arranged ballad "Ripperton Road" and upbeat folk tune backed by mandolin entitled "Common Wonders." "I Don't Care" is a traditional folk song with lots of accordian and whistle led by Jenny's vocals.

Crisp percussion and rich symphonic orchestration back Jenny in the hymn-like track entitled "King" and the contemporary Celtic piece "Endless Sea." Both are very memorable and highlight the band's virtuousity.

West Of Eden's debut self-titled album is a wonderful combination of traditional and contemporary Celtic crossover music by a talented group of musicians. The majority of their tracks are highly memorable and several are awe inspiring. The album is available from the group's website and local distributors in various territories. Worthy of further exploration and a long distance journey, the album is a very nice listen!

 
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