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East of the Sun


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Audio CD, June 12, 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fast Horse Recordings
  • ASIN: B000P28SW0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Composed of principle members Peter Buck (REM, Minus 5), Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, REM), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season), bassist Kevin Hudson, and horn players Dave Carter and Craig Flory, Tuatara return from a four-year hiatus to release East Of The Sun. Tuatara has evolved from an instrumental project to an ever-growing, eclectic ensemble, including vocals and spoken word. Guest vocalists include Mark Olson and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, Sufi Poet Coleman Barks, Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, Jessy Greene of the Geraldine Fibbers, Luna's Dean Wareham, John Wesley Harding, Gina Sala, Victoria Williams, Flamenco legend Ottmar Liebert, and Iraqi oudist, Rahim Alhaj.

Review

What started as an occasional collaboration has evolved into an ongoing supergroup with ten years and four albums to their collective credit. With their latest effort, Tuatara expands its pedigree, adding some big name singers like Mark Eitzel, John Wesley Harding, Dean Wareham, Victoria Williams and Gary Louris to this Peter Buck/Scott McCaughey/Barrett Martin amalgam. It also marks a distinct change in tactic; where earlier albums dabbled in cinematic soundscapes and an eclectic fusion-esque stance, the new effort takes a more conventional approach via traditional song structures. That's not to say they've abandoned their eccentric ambitions altogether. Given that the album's concept is centered on Eastern philosophy and spiritual musings that involve reincarnation, the circle of life and a journey to the hereafter, their high-minded intents ensure an upward glance. With three spoken word narratives to provide the psychedelic spin, Dave Carter's muted trumpet, Jessy Greene's seductive violin and guest Ottmar Liebert's flamenco guitar ground the proceedings with their seductive embrace. The Olson/Williams duet on "All The Colors In The World" recalls the mournful balladry that characterized Olson's stint with the Jayhawks, while Harding's duet, "Orpheus Must Die," provides the most emphatic refrain. An intriguing indulgence, repeated listens are deemed mandatory. --Lee Zimmerman, Amplifier

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By timoteo1969 on June 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
well, apparently skerik took off or got the boot, and with him went all the fun, innovative jazz explorations. in its stead is a bunch of country rock flavored fluff; fine, if that's what you're in the market for, but it's worlds apart from the directions explored in the past, and highly disappointing to fans of their previous music.

the liner notes relate that the album is about a journey of sorts through hell. i just wish they hadn't made it quite so literal for this listener. a complete waste of time and money.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Wainright on June 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely love this album! It is rooted in classic songwriting and production and features some of the greatest singer-songwriter-poets in America today; i.e. Dean Wareham (Luna), Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Scott McCaughey (REM), Gary Louris and Mark Olson (The Jayhawks), Jessy Greene (Geraldine Fibbers), Victoria Williams, John Wesley Harding and the great Sufi poet Coleman Barks. Even though Tuatara has made instrumental soundtrack music in the past, this new album shows how they can take that musical finesse and add vocals to it with astounding success. It's like a great western film soundtrack with singer-storytellers providing the narrative. Ignore the small-minded pessimists who only understand simplicity, and explore this new direction in the band - it is well worth the journey.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Felix the Cat on June 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Barrett Martin come together to create a different Tuatara release with this beautiful, well produced collaboration of great singers/songwriters and musicians. Songs by vocalists such as Dean Wareham, Gary Louris and Victoria Williams, just to name a few, are interspersed with spoken word poetry by Coleman Barks, the Rumi translator and poet. This is an interesting and thought provoking cd, and I look forward to hearing West of the Moon.
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