Eden Burning

Smilingly Home

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Recorded in November and December of 1992 as part of the Vinegar and Brown Paper tour, Smilingly Home understandably contains a preponderance of material from that album. Their EP, Thin Walls, is also well-represented here. Even though the electric guitar was featured more prominently in their live shows than in the studio, this was still a folk-rock band with slight Celtic flourishes. This would also prove to be the last of their "folk" albums, as future albums would systematically reduce the presence of mandolin, pennywhistles, and even acoustic guitars. That's a shame, because it's those acoustic instruments that really gave Eden Burning character and distinction among the throngs of '90s alterna-pop bands. This is an incredibly clean live recording in which the acoustic instruments, electric guitars, and vocals are all balanced -- something that not all independent live recordings can claim. Like Vinegar and Brown Paper, this was another failure in the American media (radio, print, television), even though Eden Burning seemed to be gaining recognition in their British homeland. Like many bands before and after them, that lack of success, unfortunately, dictated the unnecessary stylistic changes Eden Burning would soon undergo. Their next album, Mirth and Matter, would concentrate more on jangly alterna-pop, thus rendering Eden Burning less unique among the masses.

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