REVIEW: Colleen Eccleston -- The Garden of Chaos

Colleen Eccleston is one of my favourite singer/songwriters and she doesn't disappoint me with her latest solo release The Garden of Chaos, which I highly recommend.

Colleen's previous solo releases (she is also in celtic folk band The Ecclestons) have been mostly folk but this release contains a mix of folk songs, rock songs, and country songs. If she performed all the songs solo on acoustic guitar and voice they would all be folk songs but on the CD there is full band instrumentation and I would like to hear them performed live by a full band.

  1. The CD is bookended by the opening folk song Feels Like Home, which pays homage to her home on Vancouver Island, and the closing a capella (with some bird noises) song The Garden of Chaos. Feels Like Home starts with some ocean noises, I suspect from Vancouver Island. Sample lyrics from the song are: "This could very well be/The place where/I'm meant to be/Out on an island/Like a jewel in the sea/Oh it feels like home to me"
  2. The next track is the slow but rocking song My Boy Says, which discusses the unjaded optimism of the younger generation: "My boy says he'll make the world a better place/Oh, I believe him, he's such a sweet look on his face/My boy says that he will turn the world around/My boy,my boy, my boy says"
  3. The third track is a country song, A Good Place, about making it through with a second wind when the times get tough: "Hail to those who make it through/When the world's falling down right in front of you"
  4. Next is a catchy swinging country song True Love, which has a simply catchy chorus that I have at times found running through my head (an earworm). The chorus is "True True True love/that's what I'm dreaming of/True True True True True True True love". Other sample lyrics are "Cause a love that really makes you laugh/is a love that'll need no epitaph"
  5. The fifth track is slow dance number Nothing's fair, which I guess I call folk: "Flax blue like an inland sea/Wind rippling right over me/Road longer than I thought it would be/away from you Its true".
  6. Boy with the Hungry Eyes: This is a medium speed rock song, dedicated to all the teenage boys and inspired by Lochlan Smyth her eldest: "Boy with the hungry eyes yeah wants it all/Diviner for danger/Wiles of a stranger"
  7. Under the Sun: this is a reggae tinged folk song asking for freedom in this democracy and protesting peacekeepers going to war. "We keep in plain view for all to see/Repeating history/When peacekeepers go to war/You can't speak for me anymore"
  8. The Sounding Bone: This is a driving (and would be a good driving song) folk rock song about letting the past go and carry on with your life building on what you have learned from your mistakes "If I knew then what I know now/I could have turned the tide somehow/If I knew now what I knew then/I would dare to dream again"
  9. The Wrong Hands: This a fast waltz folk song with catchy cello and is a love song and a song to the end of love, looking back on that love: "You say my love means nothing to you/My love can turn a grey sky to blue/My love becomes a song in my heart"
  10. Love Moves: This is a real rocker with some electric guitar, about love and obsession: "Love moves in mysterious ways/It steals your heart/Your night and days"
  11. The Garden of Chaos: As I said in my discussion of track 1, this forms a bookend with track 1. It is an a capella folk song with just her voice and some bird noises, and is about escaping from life's trials to spend peaceful time in the garden of chaos: "In the garden of chaos there's no phone to ring/You can lay there and listen/to the songs the birds sing".

Once again, I highly recommend this new release by BC songwriter Colleen Eccleston and I look forward to hearing the songs performed live someday.

Colleen's web site is Colleen's home page. but that is currently under construction (I will edit this when it is up) so for now have a look at her myspace site Colleen's myspace site.

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