Eden Burning

Vinegar and Brown Paper

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

This was the first Eden Burning album that saw any type of distribution in the U.S. R.E.X. Records picked it up four years after its release in the U.K. To Eden Burning's credit, the band's music is a timeless mix of '60s pop, alternative, and Celtic rock. Lead singer and guitarist Paul Northup has a voice that resembles both Dave Matthews and Art Garfunkel, while the band's sound possesses more of a Waterboys and Housemartins style. However, as a Christian band, Eden Burning could never break through the slick, formulated, and appearance-conscious standards that the Nashville-based CCM industry either knowingly or unknowingly enforces. That's unfortunate, because this band, and this album in particular, had a lot to offer the staid CCM community. Their thoughtful and poetic lyrics were devoid of clich├ęs and their music was so unlike any American Christian bands. They weren't afraid to incorporate an occasional Irish jig or British folk song into their music, yet they could rock the rafters when called to do so. Many exceptional pieces populate this album, like "My Senses Fly," "If I Go Up," and "Feel the Rain," so it's a shame that they may never be heard by the very fans who would've appreciated them the most. In hindsight, Eden Burning, along with likeminded bands the Electrics and Why?, would have been better suited competing in the mainstream market with bands more akin to their style, like Oysterband and Waterboys, not to mention seeking fans more diverse in their musical tastes.

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