on July 12, 2005
I cannot say enough about this CD. If you believe in a god, you will disown him. If you are in love, you will shatter her heart. If you are alive, you will sell your soul. No one can top this CD, not even The Tea Party themselves. Dark. Mysterious. Angry. Deep. Hypnotic. Original. Powerful. They carved their own style and created a genre of their own. Too bad The Tea Party could not make in-roads into the US. That is ok, I am more than happy to keep them for ourselves in Canada :)
on November 5, 2003
This album is the Tea Party's best and my personal favorite. I listen to it almost everyday. My favorite part about the album is the fact that there are over 30 different instruments used on it, yet they all fit together perfectly somehow.
1.)Fire in Head-5 stars-This is a great rocker to open up with. Very philosophical and based on a book Jeff Martin read. That already makes in deeper than any American music.
2.)Bazaar-4 stars-Great song with awesome djembe intro. The song has a great rhythm, very catchy.
3.)Correspondences-5 stars-Very mellow, Door-esque song. Very brooding dark song about relationships and what not, but more poetic than most American music. Great solo on the guitar at the end too.
4.)The Badger-5 stars-Awesome instrumental guitar song. Ver mellow as well. Sets a nice mood, has a very irish-scottish feel to it.
5.)Silence-4 stars-Loud and surprising after such a mellow song in the Badger. Good middle eastern feel. More great poetry, similar vibe to the Bazaar.
6.)Sister Awake-5 stars-The Tea Party's opus. I would give it a million stars if I could. This album features many different instruments in one Epic song. Switches moods so quickly it makes you head spin and leaves you saying wow at the end. Once again another incredibly poetic song, awesome song and a good place to start.
7.)Turn the Lamp Down Low-4 stars- Very bluesy, slide guitar based song. Good ganja jam lol. There is another good version of this song on Alhambra.
8.)Shadows on the Mountainside-4 stars- Good folk-based song. Jeff's voice sounds excellent. I love listening to this song when I am in a mellow mood. Good segue into Drawing Down The Moon.
9.)Drawing Down the Moon-5 stars- Awesome blues based song. Very sombre and emotionally heavy. The song that first drew me into to album 6 years ago.
10.)Inanna-5 stars- Great middle eastern based song about the Sumerian goddess of the same name. Follows a similar vibe to the other eastern songs.
11.) Coming Home-5 stars- Great acoustic to heavy to acoustic song. Very poetic introspective song. It shows Jeff's guitar playing well. Just another great song, doesn't have all of the eastern instruments but still is awesome.
12.)Walk With Me-5 stars- Great way to end an album. Kind of a psychadelic song highlighting Jeff's great guitar playing. Good song about loneliness and what not. Another good ganja song. Has a cool spoken word section by Roy Harper after the song, and later on has a clip of Jeff destroying stuff while singing part of Correspondences.
And there it is, the whole album broken down song-by-song. I hope everyone finds this useful.
Finding good music is hard to do. Finding good, well-written, well-sung and original stuff is even harder, but Tea Party's exceptional "Edges of Twilight" manages to be all of the above. With a sort of exotic-rock edge reminiscent of classic bands (Led Zeppelin, The Doors), "Edges" is a treat.
Among them is the wonderful rock opener "Fire in the Head" ("I'm waiting/flowers of evil in my mind/and I'm waiting/dancing with fire on the edge") and the more exotic "Bazaar," the exquisite "Sister Awake," the amazing "Drawing Down the Moon," the strangely sexy, frightening "Walk With Me," and the very different, almost Middle-Eastern "Inanna" ("Into the starlit sea my love/into the moonlit sea/riding the crest of winds above/I'm begging you stay with me").
Even when the songs are simply written, the references to fire, "the sun in the flame," drawing down the moon, red rivers going to the sea, "the city of the evening star," idols speaking at twilight, moonlit seas, and the unnamed love riding the winds back to the narrator. There's a mystical-sounding edge to virtually every song on here, though that's not a quality usually assigned to rock-ier songs. The vocals are good, and the music more than makes up for any flaws; the guitar playing is some of the best I've heard for a long while, backed up by keyboard, sitar, drums, bells, and more.
While being influenced from some of the best of classic rock, "Tea Party" is entirely their own animal, with amazing songs that most bands can only dream of. Original, alluring, and a definite winner for fans of amazing music.
on July 16, 2000
A wise man once said this band was kind of like Page/Plant operating somewhere way beyond their songwriting capabilities writing mini-Kashmirs in the semi-acoustic zone between their eponymous debut and _Walking_In_Clarksdale_. They definitely owe their soul to Zep; It has a comfortable heart somewhere in the middle-ground between a prog-rock Soundgarden at its most terrifying and powerful, and maybe the southern-fried grunge-blues of the criminally-underrated Bostonians Big Wreck. But make no mistake, just beacause their are ouds and tablas this is no cheezy raga rock; its potent, powerful, magnificent stuff, we get our first glimpse with the gorgeous power ballad "correspondences" with a stunning, beautiful display of blues prowess that would make Clapton proud over a pastiche of tasteful percussives and shimmering keyboards, finding introspective moments in the acoustic instrumental "the badger" and the quiet stunner "shadows on the moutainside." But wind guitvox wizard Jeff Martin up and watch him go on the blues volume-crankers "turn the lamp down low" and oh-my-god-did-he-just-do-that blues shredding of "drawing down the moon." Thank you Jeff Martin, I am now convinced Canada is now completely forgiven for Bryan Adams.
on April 24, 2000
The Tea Party's first two albums showed a band unafraid to show off its instrumental virtuosity, world-music pretenses, and stadium-sized intent. That's just fine with me, if the songwriting and arrangements are at this quality.
Lead singer Jeff Martin's pipes are limited, but deep enough to carry the songs, and his skill on the guitar is formidable. "The Bazaar" was easily the best guitar riff of 1995 with vocal hooks to spare, "The Badger" is an amazing acoustic passage, "Correspondences" plays with a simmering dynamic, and "Fire in the Head" kicks at the head with a vengeance. All this with a nicely rowdy sound on the production front, beautiful CD booklet, and solid lyrics playing with poetry and smelling of sensuality.
The Tea Party's best album. After this, unfortunately, Martin would delve (not very successfully) into the world of techno sounds and lose the rock and roll fire that drives this album so relentlessly and makes this album so addictive.
on March 11, 2000
I first got this CD in mid-1997. My dad had picked it up after hearing one of their songs (which turned out to be "Sister Awake") on the radio, and he'd thought it sounded like an unreleased Doors track. When he played me this CD (mostly the opener "Fire In the Head"), I said "it's trash!" At that time, though, I was listening to Hanson (who I have no problem with, but...) and other pop groups, which, while good at cheery pop songs, were a bit one-dimensional. After giving this a few more chances, mostly with the quieter acoustic tracks, I REALLY started to like this album. Over time, I listened to it more and more, completely dazzled by the pure melancholy and spookiness prevalent on almost every track. Some CDs have a few "epic" songs, which really deliver an impact, but on Edges of Twilight, EVERY song is an epic. As well, there is huge musical diversity: folky acoustics ("The Badger", "Coming Home"), beautiful, melancholy tracks ("Correspondences", which has one of the best endings ever), and psychedilic, mind-expandingly SCARY songs like "Fire In the Head", "Drawing Down the Moon" (which also happens to have some downright amazing blues playing), and the menacing finale "Walk With Me", where Jeff Martin delivers what just might be the most purely EVIL vocal note known to man, where he baritones "Come on in and lady, you WALK", right before the final sanity-shattering chorus. This CD is simply a trip. And if it weren't for this, most of my existing 150-CD collection wouldn't be in my possession. That's how much I liked (and still do like) this disc.
on October 21, 1999
This band is so great. They are truly a musicians rock band. They use such an interesting and diverse array of instruments as well as alternate tunings( for the guitar players out there). But I found at least that this band took some time to grow on me. They do admittedly have a pretty heavy classic rock influence(Led Zep and the Doors) but they are much more than that as they have shown on their newest albums. I have had the chance to see these guys live a couple of times including an acoustic show which really exhibited their talents at their finest. These guys can really play and experiment with great new sounds. This is the first album of theirs that I bought and the more I listened to it the more I loved it. I have since bought all their stuff and it is all good but changing. There are some songs on this album that are easy to like but many more take some repeated listening. Depending what type of music you are into. Despite it all you know upon first listen that these guys are great song writers and should be appreciated. Give this album a listen especially if you are a guitar player. You will learn something.
on June 2, 1999
I found this album to be very melancoly. Their first self-titled album (which i am lucky to have an original of), showed off some very heavy Jazz influences. All my Charms is my favourite song of theirs. They then progressed to Spendor Soils (not Spenldir Solice as a reviewer stated below). Which i found to be very dark. This album i found to be over all my favourit. The amazing work on the sitar, and tacet by Jeff Martin are great, and show off his versatility, Jeff Burrows shows his great style on the keyboard on Badger, and stuart is great throughout. You can hear the emotion in Jeff's voice in walk with me and Innana. I found Transmission to be a very very depressing album ( did anyone else sorta find a theme of apology to women running throughout the album....i think it relates to Jeff Martin's divorce...but thats just me). The new single from Tryptich, Heaven Coming Down, i love, it is very reminiscent of the early tea Party, namely this album. So if you like the new single, or just want to hear some good music. Get this album
on May 24, 1999
"The Edges of Twilight" (1995)- The Tea Party
Canada's most talented three-piece rock band (Jeff Martin, Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood) has four major label albums to their credit, one of which has a multimedia section. They have also released an album independently, back in 1991. They have three double-platinum (Canadian sales) albums, meaning they've sold 600,000 or more. They've explored almost every genre of music, from blues and folk to heavy techno. Their best effort to date is 1995's The Edges of Twilight. The album starts with three notes playing over and over, on "Fire In the Head." It puts you in a trance almost instantly, and prepares you for what you'll hear. The title itself is a good term to describe the album. Once the feedback from the guitar rings in, you'll see what the band does best; they take you to some other place, where the music is all you hear (Listen to this album straight through from the start. It has a linear progression, like a story). The violins make the perfect climax to track 1, before bells chime in the fade-out (Listen closely to hear them). "The Bazaar" begins with a sinister bass, before ripping into one of the best intros I've ever heard for any song. Jeff Martin's voice is in top form on every song, Jeff Burrows can perfectly set a mood with his drum tempo, and Stuart Chatwood can play piano or use atmospheric sounds depending on the situation. After a frenetic 3½ minutes, the pace slows down for "Correspondences," but not the intensity. The tune starts slow, building up to the final chorus, with Jeff Martin shouting "You tear me apart!" The song isn't dark as much as melancholy, but the emotion in Jeff's voice is astounding. This one's my personal favorite, especially the guitar solo at the end, fading into the piano repetition. The album can't be described in words. You just have to listen to it. "The Badger" is the perfect foil for such an intense start, and shows off Jeff Martin's talent on guitar. It has a relaxed feel, helped by the keyboards in the background, and the lack of vocals. Despite all that's been said about Martin, the Tea Party is NOT a one-man band. Chatwood and Jeff Burrows have amazing talent, and Stuart plays bass as well as keyboards. "Silence" is a good song, but still the weakest on the album. It's almost too loud, with the hurdy gurdy blasting out at the start, and the song not slowing down. Some good lyrics (like the rest of the album), but it pales compared to the rest. "Sister Awake" is a very spiritual tune, something else that the Tea Party's songs have. Most other bands can't achieve that element. It showcases all of the band's talents; different instruments and styles (sitar, bongos, etc.), powerful lyrics; and of course, heavy sounds, which is a must if you want to be a rock band. Even then, the Tea Party defies true categorization. "Turn the Lamp Down Low" starts as a classic sounding blues Hendrix-style song, but after a few minutes of irate repetition, Jeff Martin goes insane, screaming "Don't go!" in a babbling frenzy right to the end, where the song fades out with bongos pounding. Easily the most 'psychotic' song on the album, and it shows how loud Jeff can be! "Shadows on the Mountainside" calms things down, with an entrancing picking pattern flowing along. Jeff Martin plays a flamenco solo throughout the song, while playing the background rhythm and singing softly at the same time. Poetic lyrics and beautiful guitar make this one a first-rate relaxer, once again demonstrating the band's talent with acoustic material. "Drawing Down the Moon" starts off with an almost mocking blues riff (Hendrix, anyone?), but it still is neat to listen to. Once that ends, the dreary bridge riff comes in, with a slide fading through the background, Jeff Martin's yearning voice breaking into a scream for the hard-rocking chorus! Jeff keeps screaming before going back into the bridge, then falling back to the opening blues riff for the outro. A rocking song! "Inanna" is the most eastern style song on the disc, with the buzzing, ringing sitar having a haunting effect. The lyrics seem to fit pretty well, too. The atmosphere of the song is amazing, and the chorus seems to bring it all together. The drums, the echoes of Jeff Martin's voice and the keyboards in harmony will make you shiver. The fade-out is just as mysterious, ending with a strange tapping ring. The song isn't quite long enough, though. We want more of the whole album! "Coming Home" is a drastic change. A good, standard blues rock song, it has a great chorus. The riffs at the middle of the song, followed by the solo, are purely blues-influenced. This is probably as light-hearted as this album gets (that's saying a lot!). The picking at the beginning and end of the song is catchy, as well (the catchiest song on the album?). Once again, the mood takes a huge turn. "Walk With Me" is the darkest and most intense song on the album. It starts twisted, it gets heavy and evil, and it lasts for seven good long minutes! The soloing throughout is like experiencing insanity! This is especially the case near the middle, where the drum roll and high-pitched riffing, along with Martin's screaming, are something else! The ultimate high (or low, depending on how you look at it) is after the quiet chorus repeat. Jeff Martin hits a note with his voice that sounds like pure evil! Then it rolls back into the last crazed chorus, before it roars to a close (or does it? That last fade-in at the very end keeps you guessing!) If you're curious enough, you'll find the hidden track thirty seconds after "Walk With Me." Taking its title from the album itself (or vice versa), "The Edges of Twilight" is a touching song, with slow guitar riffs from Jeff Martin, and wonderfully poetic lyrics from Roy Harper, a folk singer out of England. The last few notes hit home, and are a perfect close for this amazing work (actually, there is an extremely short demo take of "Correspondences" after another few minutes. Nothing special). When you get past the Hendrix, Morrison and Zeppelin comparisons (which are all justified), this is still an amazing album which can't be done by some impersonator. The Tea Party just knows that those old groups had a good formula, so they might as well stick with it. What do similarities matter, anyway? The band can play great songs, that's all there is to it. More power to them.
on April 15, 1999
To all of you who say that The Tea Party is a Led Zeppelin-Doors rip off, I say that's a totally ridiculous accusation. Yes, there is a Zeppelin influence to the music but it's a subtle one. And aside from the slight resemblance of Jeff Martin's vocals to the voice of Jim Morrison, I don't think they sound anything like The Doors either. OK, Martin and Morrison are both great poets, but Jeff is much more of a "frontman" and great songwriter. And to have the reviewer up there saying they are "essentially an FM rock band that have more in common with Alice In Chains and Queensryche then they'd like to admit", that is even more blatantly ridiculous. There is absolutely NO resemblance to Queensryche whatsoever here (what drugs was this reviewer on???) and ditto for AIC (save for the one line in "Turn The Lamp Down Low" where Martin sings, "to embrace the dancing clay man/as he tears your flesh"). And this music sounds very anti-mainstream to say the least. Having said that, this is a rather excellent, extremely inspired album that deserves at least 4-1/2 stars out of 5. The way the band integrates the Eastern influence into their sound is very masterful, and the aforementioned lyrics of Jeff Martin (not to mention his guitar work) are brilliant. Highlights? Try "Walk With Me", which has a great intro, and a nice aggressive vibe but it's still passionate. The heartbreaking "Correspondences" has an unforgettable chorus and solo section at the end. The Eastern experiments really come together in "Sister Awake", with its' gripping "break it down" section, and "Drawing Down The Moon" is an inspired blues jam which purely smokes. "Turn The Lamp Down Low", "Silence" and "The Bazaar" are also undoubtedly memorable, with hooks galore. Only a couple weaknesses here -- "Inanna" has a nice melody but sounds a little irritating to these ears, and as great as the opener "Fire In The Head" sounds, its' vibe is a little too close to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", and is the only place where I can see the critics have a point. Other than that, this is excellent.
And the next release "Transmission" sounds even more fresh and aggressive than this one. You will not be reminded of any other band listening to that release, although it's not quite as good.