Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Laura Jean - "Eden Land"
Revisiting Australia, my current obsession is "Eden Land", the second full length release by Laura Jean. The artist herself is also a new discovery for me. I came across her recently when I was exploring Jen Cloher's music, as Laura Jean & her band currently form Jen's "Endless Sea" band.
"Eden Land" set out to be a concept album and it definitely achieved that. The 9 tracks flow into each other beautifully, carrying the listener on a musical river from start to finish. While the tracks can stand on their own, they lose a bit of their potency & magic when not heard in context. I have to confess that the first time I listened to the album, I felt a bit like I was in an opium den (or at least how I imagined I would feel in such a place). Not that it was a bad thing. The music induced this sort of dreamy, floating, hypnotic sensation and I felt like I was waking from a dream when the music ended.
The opening track "Magic Unnamed/Eden Land" sets the mood for the rest of the album. The instrumentation is subtle, the backing vocals are ethereal - almost haunting, and Laura Jean's voice is deliciously soft and gentle. Even on later tracks, when the instrumentation becomes more pronounced, there are never any jarring sounds, nothing to break the spell. The lyrics throughout are very personal, as though she has opened a door into herself and allowed the listeners to follow her on this journey of self-discovery. My favorite tracks are the opening track and "Eve", though I really enjoyed the entire album