Eddie Tea is a singer/songwriter who records everything with one condenser microphone. Luckily, all of his songs are just acoustic guitar and vocals so it doesn't sound bad. Although I do have to say that I would love for him to take the leap to two mics because I think that might greatly improve the recordings. The majority of his 12 songs on his latest release entitled Other Animals are mostly somber, sometimes dark pieces. You have an occasional upbeat number like “In the Evening Breeze” that fares well. There are solid songs on this recording. Unfortunately, they are overshadowed by the poor production. The dynamics aren't always stable and often sound like a poor mix.
One thing that Tea has going for him is his lyrics. They are occasionally cliché but you can find some good nuggets in them such as “evening again I'll sit back watch the moon and your mouth a gold hairpin and a river and mount ears mimic sound circle round and round like a river and trees” or “climbed so high but not so high out of sight out of mind feet wet soul dry alive heart safe oh I'm happy alone.” In addition to the lyrics his voice is attractive as well. He sort of has this masculine quality that doesn't feel like he’s trying too hard. If he would have pushed his voice a bit more unnaturally in that direction it would have started to sound contrived.
A number of songs stand out on this album. I preferred the soft delicate picking and hushed vocals on “Forgive.” “In The Evening Breeze” was just begging for some form of percussion and a bassist while “Black (Young Giraffe)” has the best guitar work on the album. Some of the best vocal melodies are present on “Dragon's Song (Where a Coracle Came)” especially at the end when he repeats the phrase “where a coracle came our dreams are made.” The album continues with a number of songs that are hit or miss, eventually closing with “Song of The Alien.” Tea decides to get a little adventurous with this track as he adds some delay to his guitar. He also delivers one of the best vocal performances on the album with this track.
Tea has a lot of potential. In fact he even mentions that these songs are demos on his Bandcamp page. Currently, his songwriting is solid but his production could use improvement. I'll keep my eye on this one and see how he develops.
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