on 27 May 2013
Half Life is The Eden House's 2nd "proper" album, the follow up to 2009's Smoke And Mirrors (although in-between these two albums they have released a live DVD/CD package and an EP). The core line up remains mainly unchanged, however Andy Jackson of Pink Floyd association has now joined full time and Bob Loveday, previously of the Penguin Café Orchestra, has now stepped back into a supporting role but has been strengthened with contributions from Simon Hinkler of The Mission and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. So what we have is still a combination of influences that, on the face of it, have little in common but all come together in a glorious celebration of quality musicianship partnered with a fine selection of female vocalists.
Some reviews of the album's lead single, Bad Men, raised concerns about the direction that The Eden House were taking however they needn't have worried, this album is a fine follow-up to its predecessor and tracks such as The Empty Space (which features the aforementioned Simon Hinkler on guitar) are simply breath-taking, in fact that one track pretty much exemplifies what this album is about - it may be lacking the urgency of To Believe in Something (the signature track of the previous album) but trades this for texture and atmosphere to produce an all together more cohesive collection of songs. This is the album's strength and also, to some extent, its weakness: As beautiful and as atmospheric as it is, it lacks the heart-breaking passion of tracks such as Trashed Treasure and Sin from Smoke And Mirrors - think of it as a volatile and unpredictable teenager that's grown up into an elegant and sophisticated woman. Having said that, this really is a fine album full of great songs and exceptional musicianship, for me the highlight of the Nefilim's Zoon album was Simon Rippin's drumming and it's great to hear him finally unleashed on an Eden House recording as he is here on City of Goodbyes - the standout track of this album.
Half Life is a very good album and one that I have a feeling is going to grow on me with each repeated listen.
on 6 July 2014
Ok, have to say that this was THE album I have been waiting for over the last year. I've given it 4 coz I love Eden House, but its really a 3 1/2.
Compared to Smoke & Mirrors it is more slick, but has no where near the quality of song or quality of Vocals (Evangeline Ferrari is a massive miss on this album)
Also...Simon Hinckler...why...just why........ his light weight tinkly mission style riffs almost ruin 2 of the songs and there is far too much of his input on here for my liking.
Overall its a good album, but has the problem of being the follow up to a brilliant album (Smoke & Mirrors) and its just a bit to light weight for me. I think it annoyed me most because I was hoping it would be an awesome album, and its just a good album.
And finally,,,the last track is bloody awfull with completely the wrong style of vocalist as well. I actually have to skip it which should not happen.