Monday, May 19, 2014

Everything But the Girl - Eden

This month thirtieth anniversary of Eden, the debut album from the British band Everything But the Girl. The 1984 release went to number 14 in the UK.

The core of the band consisted of Tracey Thorn (vocals and guitar) and Ben Watt (vocals, organ, and piano). Assisting them on the record were Simon Booth (guitar), Bosco De Oliveira (percussion), Charles Hayward (drums), Dick Pearce (flugelhorn), Nigel Nash (tenor saxophone) and Pete King (alto saxophone).

Side one opens with "Each and Every One". As the first single, it charted at number 28 in the UK, number 19 in the Netherlands and number 9 in Ireland. It has a light and airy sound, back by a Bossanova beat.

"Bittersweet" is an up-tempo tune about a woman who is ready to walk out on a relationship.

Next is the fragile "Tender Blue", a peek into a strained relationship and told from two viewpoints.

"Another Bridge" stands at a cross-road in life, ready to leave the past behind like so much water under the bridge.

"The Spice of Life" follows. The guitar riff is simple but effective.

The first half closes out with "The Dustbowl", a symbolic image for a life left in ruin.

Side two starts with an instrumental track entitled "Crabwalk". The saxophones and whisk-light percussion add a jazz element to it.

"Even So" has a Spanish flair to it, thanks to the guitar playing.

"Frost and Fire" comes across cooler with its mid-tempo beat.

"Fascination" floats in next.

"I Must Confess" continues with the theme of a couple who is splitting up.

The final track is the gentle, rolling "Soft Touch".

This was my first listen to Eden or, for that matter, any album by Everything But the Girl. While I liked it well enough, it certainly was not the type of music I was listening to back in 1984 nor is the type of music I listen to often today. The music was very mellow while the lyrics tended to dive deep in the sadness pool. I found it a bit of a downer at times. I would have liked a bit more variety across the twelve tracks, but clearly the band was going for some overall theme. Tying it with the title of Eden, the whole thing tells of a paradise lost.

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