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East Of Eden
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East Of Eden

6 Sept. 2009 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 6 Sept. 2009
  • Release Date: 6 Sept. 2009
  • Label: Rough Trade
  • Copyright: 2009 Rough Trade Records Ltd.
  • Total Length: 32:33
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002KI2328
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,623 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD
It is almost impossible to visit Asia without experiencing
some form of subtle personal transformation.

Swedish singer/song writer Victoria Bergsman's (aka Taken By Trees)
travels to Pakistan have clearly left a deeply embedded watermark in
both her spirit and creative vision.

'East Of Eden' is a fairly brief but delightful musical journey.

The nine songs in this collection float like feathers borne
on a mountain breeze. Ephemeral, luminous and enchanting.

Ms Bergsman has a lovely voice made lovlier still by the space
it is given in these economical arrangements to work its magic.

Simple songs beautifully sung.

'Anna' and 'Watch The Waves' are both captivating examples of the
principle that less can sometimes and in so many ways be more.

Take 'Greyest Love Of All', too, with its charming folk-like melody,
lilting harmonies and mercurial solo flute.
This is music which doesn't have to shout to make its mark.

The complex percussion of 'Day By Day' creates an infectiously
spare and funky backdrop to the almost childlike vocal performance.

Concluding track 'Bekannelse' is an eerie dirge-like
composition whose disembodied and ambiguous sound-effects
create a truly haunting (and haunted) ending.

This impeccable album is a complete joy from start to finish.

Highly Recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Toby Staunton on 16 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Ex-Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman has managed to find something special with this her second solo album, recorded in Pakistan. Her voice is open and honest throughout and is beautifully supported by the simple and elegant musicianship.

The opening track rolls and claps along as Bergsman almost talks over the top and gradually the layers build up to great effect. The chanting at the start of `Anna' gives way to an ethereal track filled with calm retrospect, and `Watching the Waves' whistles and pops with such joy that counterpoints the slight regret of the lyrics.

The unique thing about Victoria is her ability to balance different styles perfectly, and nowhere is this better shown than in the succession from `Tidens Gång', which is entirely sung in Swedish, to `Wapas Karna', which is entirely chanted in Urdu, and then on to the very bubbly `My Boys'. It is a talent that very few people have.

The album eventually closes out with `Bekännelse' which is the densist track on the album, it hums and flows like the tide with Bergsman's voice whispering out of the air. Whatever inspiration Victoria needed in Pakistan she found it and used it to great success.
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By Eamonn MacNeill on 23 Mar. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Taken by Trees is the project of Swedish Indie/Pop singer/songwriter Victoria Bergsman.
With Bergsman's second full length release, "East of Eden", she travelled to Pakistan to gain inspiration and utalise local talent to great effect.
It's a highly atmospheric recording, fusing Pakistani musical culture with Scandi Pop. Sitar and tabla blending tastefully with guitar and drum, woven together with the gorgious Bansuri and Bergsman's wistful tones.
An album of searching for Eden, but realising you're already there.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Fillis on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great album, really enjoyed it apart from one track which just reminds me of being in an Indan restaurant. The rest is really chilled out and cool.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Inspired Pakistani Musical Experiment From Taken By Trees Front Woman Victoria Bergsman 28 Sept. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
East Of Eden, the second album from Taken By Trees, the solo project of Victoria Bergsman, may be a short album with 9 tracks clocking in just over 32 minutes, but it packs a pretty powerful wallop by its conclusion. The core material of the album was recorded over a six day period in Pakistan with the help of local musicians. It's an almost perfectly conceived set of moody acoustic indie pop augmented, enhanced and sometimes transformed by the contributions of the musicians with which Bergsman collaborated. In the middle of the record Bergsman has also placed two non-English language tracks, one in Swedish and the other a Pakistani track called "Wapas Karna," and follows those up with an inspired cover of the Animal Collective song "My Girls," here entitled "My Boys." It ends on a lovely note with the instrumental "Bekännelse," which preserves the ambient noises of its original recording session, including what sounds like the shout of a child at the very beginning. East Of Eden will certainly take its place as one of the most memorable indie pop records of the year. Standout cuts: "To Lose Someone," "Watch The Waves," "Greyest Love Of All" and "My Boys."
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Taken By Trees - East of Eden 8/10 10 Nov. 2009
By Rudolph Klapper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Whether it is for spiritual, artistic, or less, ahem, savory reasons, the East has always been a musical mecca for soul-searching bands. From the Beatles experiment with Indian music to Pete Doherty's brief (and ultimately failed) excursion to Thailand to get clean, the Eastern world has, for all globalization has done since the `60s, retained an exciting mystique and a wealth of cultural traditions that many musicians have found impossible to ignore. Few, however, have found their tours as treacherous as Victoria Bergsman, former singer of Swedish pop band the Concretes. Accosted by ultra-religious locals as soon as she arrived in rural Pakistan, the single Bergsman improvised, pretending her sound engineer was her husband so that they could travel around the country without further problems. Given Bergsman's penchant for delicately intricate indie pop, one might expect such a tension-filled trip would have thrown a wrench in the proverbial songwriting gears, but East of Eden comes off as an impossibly relaxed, genuinely constructed album that meshes East and West improbably well.

Many an album recorded in foreign environments has come off as patronizing or a fraud, taking only the merest of cultural touchstones or instruments and calling it fusion when it is more often a parody. Even for all the hoopla regarding the Beatles' stay in India, Eastern styles were really apparent only on a few of their efforts. East of Eden, then, is a rarity, an album that from start to finish immerses itself in the Pakistani culture but retains that quintessentially Swedish pop edge that Bergsman long ago mastered. It's an exciting and, at first listen, a perplexing sort of record. Few familiar with the Concretes or the last Taken By Trees record will know how to reconcile Bergman's soft vocals with sitar flourishes and male backing vocals wailing in traditional Pakistani tongues. But as this deceptively short album gently unwinds its way through the mountains and villages of the countryside, it's clear that Bergsman remains just as comfortable behind these alien textures as she does behind a piano and multi-layered harmonies.

Opening track "To Lose Someone" sets the template for what's to come, opening with a light acoustic guitar melody before a swell of instrumentation surfaces, subtle tablas and dhol working off the rhythm while a flute sighs in the background. Bergsman's vocals remain restrained throughout the track and the rest of the album, creating a tangible but not overpowering atmosphere of exotic locales and the kind of images normally reserved for National Geographic articles. Most of all, it's delightfully understated - nothing here is forced, and when the haunting wailing of a guest vocalist closes out the song in intriguing fashion, it comes off as undeniably genuine rather than an opportunistic genre theft.

Tender and exquisitely emotive with even the barest whisper, Bergsman is of course the thread that holds everything together. Fans of her earlier work won't be surprised to see her do quiet here, but they might be shocked at how effortlessly her vocals, which run the gamut from standard indie-pop love tales to a Herman Hesse poem sung entirely in Swedish, fit into this worldly tapestry. Amidst tribal percussion and a bansuri flute on "Watch The Waves" Bergsman's ethereal pipes combine nicely with the tune's dreamy tone. Her declaration to "hold you for a hundred years / take away your greatest fears" on the sprightly "Day By Day," meanwhile, transforms it into a sort of "Young Folks" for the Eastern crowd, with its village dance drum line and poppy woodwind refrain.

When Bergsman strays too far from her roots, like on the drone-y, ambient Swedish-language closer "Bekannelse," (that aforementioned Hesse poem), it's too easy for her personality to get lost in the shuffle. Indeed, "Wapas Karna," the ill-advised field recording of a traditional Sufi folk song performed entirely by untrained locals, suffers mightily from zero contribution by the Swedish chanteuse. But when Bergsman is on, East of Eden produces some otherworldly gems, from "Watch The Waves" to the expertly produced sonic threads of "The Greyest Love of All," where a slippery sitar line, flutes, and Bergsman's soothing vocals collude in a mesmerizing display of musical cross-pollination, and a damn fine pop song at that. And that's not even mentioning the spot-on backing vocals of Animal Collective's Noah Lennox (no stranger to weird out-of-country experiments) on the lovely ode "Anna," nor the superb cover of that band's "My Girls" (here retitled, of course, "My Boys"). With traditional Sufi instrumentation, all buzzing harmonium and lacking even a hint of electronic noise, the song is a revelation, a hypnotic 180-degree shift in direction that reinvents one of 2009's best songs and makes it perhaps more relevant than ever in the context of East of Eden's origins.

It's tough to compare how this stacks up to Bergsman's previous work or that of any other similar artist, as Bergsman has not so much gone in a new direction as totally teleported herself and her listeners to an entirely new world. Few can make such an out-of-left-field experiment work and, better yet, not come off as unbearably pretentious doing it. East of Eden is not a perfect record, and it will definitely not be for everyone. But for those who put the time into it, who revel in the gossamer musical layers that, more than anything else, joyously create an atmosphere to get lost in, it's a simultaneously beguiling and dazzling experience.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Subtle and quirky Swedish/Pakistani blending 14 Nov. 2009
By Niklas P. Andersson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love the first half of this recording so much so that it should receive five stars, but unfortunately the last half should get no more than three; hence, my four star rating, maybe it should actually be 3.5. I realize there's been and invasion of the Hives et al and other Swedish acts as of late; but the last act that touched me (besides Jens Lekman and Peter, Paul, and Bjorn) was Bo Hanson. Now Taken By Trees. Love the plaintive simplicity. The First four tracks had me absolutely tickled on this foggy Santa Cruz morning. Her somewhat dead pan voicings over the bubbling tablas and other instrumentation achieved the rare feat of being relaxing while also being upbeat. The last half drags of the cd drags somewhat and looses my interest, sounding like B rate movie soundtrack--and I love music from this part of the world. I am smitten by TBT so much so that I'm going to buy her other record.
If You Need a Little Healing 28 Jun. 2012
By Bamboo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Victoria Bergsman creates a gentle and soothing music. Here she dips her song-writing sensibilities into Pakistani melody and rhythm, yet her songs remain firmly in the Western pop tradition. The Eastern influence adds some mystery as well as a celebratory quality. You can feel the earth beneath your bare feet listening to "Watch the Waves" with its subtly hypnotic dancing rhythm. Bergsman has a small voice that has a charming childlike quality about it. She sings like a young girl standing by a window, lost in her solitary musings, phrasing the lyrics in sing-song fashion, most always reigning in the phrases, never drawing out the sound and holding the notes. Sometimes it's a little spooky, but mostly it's strangely alluring, a tender and even healing sound. In fact, given the limits of her voice, it's surprising the range of wistful emotions she can evoke. Due, I think, to her ability to fully inhabit her songs, singing from within them. This recording is too brief though, over, it seems, before you know it. I recommend Open Field for a fuller account of Bergsman (Taken by Trees). Then try to find her work as a member of the Concretes, especially the compilation Layourbattleaxedown. If you need a little healing, her music might be just what the doctor ordered.
one of my favorites cd 15 Dec. 2013
By Saribel Palma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
amazin music and vocals,spirit trip, selfdiscovering, magicalmuse, only one song was not my mood but avarage is a must have.
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