The Tea Party

Splendor Solis

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Toronto, Canada's the Tea Party sound like Jim Morrison singing for Led Zeppelin in their most exotic Middle Eastern moments. As evidenced on their 1993 debut album, Splendor Solis was a smash in Canada with sales of a million copies -- pretty impressive when one remembers that due to that country's small population -- platinum status is awarded at 250,000 units. First track "The River" sets the tone with its esoteric lyrics, Eastern-influenced guitar licks, and tribal drumming. After a beautiful acoustic guitar solo called "Winter Solstice," we arrive at the album's piece de resistance: "Save Me," which slowly builds, trance-like, for over six minutes. Overall, this is a fine, if slightly pretentious album. Perhaps the band could improve upon their formula with a follow-up.

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