Taken by Trees, East of Eden

East of Eden’s songs are thoroughly accessible, and most of the music comes from instrumentations generally found in the World genre. On their latest effort, Taken by Trees makes it clear that Pakistan’s rich musical history is expressed through the lens of the western world’s pop culture. The album is soothing to say the least. It lays with a beautiful texture that calls upon peace to all. I see the flags blowing in the wind, and the rich fulfilling ability of East of Eden lifting the hearts of millions.

Gust of Wind # 11
Taken by Trees, East Of Eden
Rough Trade

This Gust of Wind comes to us with a sincerity that follows down a path of raw tradition, fluently mixing two cultures together that are connected by the past, and haunted by the future.

East of Eden’s songs are thoroughly accessible, and most of the music comes from instrumentations generally found in the World genre. On their latest effort, Taken by Trees makes it clear that Pakistan’s rich musical history is expressed through the lens of the western world’s pop culture. The album is soothing to say the least. It lays with a beautiful texture that calls upon peace to all. I see the flags blowing in the wind, and the rich fulfilling ability of East of Eden lifting the hearts of millions.

The Animal Collective cover “My Boys” is for sure a flowing treat of a jam, which makes smiling easy. Another favorite moment is the tune “Anna.’ Right from the beginning Taken by Trees puts you in the middle of group chant. The field recordings are vibrant, and as the voices fade, the song rolls through to reveal itself.  The melody stays with you long after it passes by, which is a reoccurring theme on this record. Quite honestly the whole thing is fantastic. It breathes new life into sound, and takes the time to instill a sense of deepness. I recommend turning the lights to a minimum, maybe a candle, bottle of red, and some shared time with close friends.

This record does make me think about more then just music. Is America’s beauty as deep as we think? Have we lost the raw sensibility of originality? By erasing the lines of our ocean’s shores, have we covered up America with the world? Do we erase the nature of other cultures by assimilating them with our glory in self righteousness? These questions might be too much for a simple review, but this music begs for these questions, b/c it’s unhinged from the sound of prepackaged products. Its beauty is obvious from the first tone, and I can’t help but think how much American (popular) music has gone cold when compared to the fresh tonality Taken by Trees conveys. Its cold in the sense that today’s most purchased music sounds like non-creative pieces of forgetful muck.

Taken by Trees offers much more then the warmth of a spinning record, or the cold emptiness of a download. This wondrous album will make you appreciate the world. I couldn’t listen without thinking of the major issues this country faces with the East, and the inevitable (second) troop increase for the fight in Afghanistan. I would be dishonest if I simply stated how amazing I find this record without mentioning the issues, and the scary as hell situation we find ourselves in, yet again. I believe that music can heal wounds, and bring forth the humanity in all of us – I realize my belief is a quixotic one.

Special Note:

President Obama I voted for you. I believe in the words you say, but I disagree with you on all fronts when it comes to the “War on Terror,” and the troop increase for Afghanistan. Let us not forget the past in order to react in the future. We have seen this story before, especially the one where the United States inflates an enemy to promote a war. I call on the history of LBJ, Nixon, and more recently George W. Bush. All three men went to wars that were not of necessity, but of choice, and bad choices they turned out to be. America cannot be the ruler of all lands, and Democracy cannot be the solution to all the world’s issues. The vast diversity, both secular and religious, can never be blanketed by the policies of the most powerful; the world’s people will never let this happen. Killing millions away from home to make up for thousands lost at home doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation for war. We are America, and that’s a pretty cool thing, but it’s not the only thing.

Let’s get the hell out of these Wars!

– Ryan Boos Oct 27, 2009

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