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The Eden House are a self-proclaimed sonic collective, that's always involved an array of musical talent, centred around the ever-evolving project's nucleus of Tony Pettitt and Stephen Carey. The former, of course, established his creative credentials many years ago, as a founding member and bassist of Fields of the Nephilim. Here we have their latest album, 'Songs for the Broken Ones' and, beyond The Eden House's core pairing, there's some tasty additional talent involved. Part of the wider Nephilim family, Simon Rippin, previously sticksman for Carl McCoy's ephemeral The Nefilim, provides drums for the album. And then there's esteemed guests such as The Mission's Simon Hinkler and Bob Loveday of Penguin Cafe Orchestra fame.

Add to this mix a lineup of incredible vocal talent and 'Songs for the Broken Ones' promises much. Faith and the Muse's Monica Richards adopts primary vocalist status by singing on over half the songs. There's also Kelli Ali (aka Kelli Dayton), the onetime Sneaker Pimps singer, who provides suitably sultry vocals for 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'; Louise Crane on 'Misery' and 'The Ardent Tide'; the distinctive tones of Anathema's Lee Douglas can be heard on 'It's Just a Death'; and Meg Pettitt lends her voice to 'The Ghost of You' and 'The Ardent Tide'. That's some serious talent right there... but does it all transform into anything worthwhile within the context of Pettitt and Carey's collective? Oh, fuck yes.

All too often, a collective of venerated talent can fall foul of "too many cooks" syndrome. Not here, I'm pleased to report. First off, the songwriting is exceptional. And, more importantly, the sonic reification of the songs, which are brought to life by some equally exceptional performances, is just sheer bliss and emotional exaltation from beginning to end. For me, it's all about a melancholic and uplifting duality through introspections and contemplations, engendered by the mesmeric power within the compositions' ethereal essence. The layered textures are simply dreamy. Be it a refined use of distorted or clean guitar, inventively executed bass, subtly innovative percussion or waves of violin, every instrument is part of the overall canvas. This is about collective performance rather than autonomous singularity. The songs on here are perfectly orchestrated soundscapes of blissful enchantment, made more emphatic by some well-chosen vocalists, who sing in beautified unity with the music's alluring charms.

Music with genuine emotional profundity and sincerity such as this is to be savoured. This is the kind of art that feeds the soul in the most positive of ways. I feel elated and enlightened after each listening experience... in the most secular of ways, I hasten to add. This is about secular spirituality and transcendence, for me. And perfection. 'Songs for the Broken Ones' receives my highest recommendation.
Jungle Records
Review by Mark Holmes
23rd June 2017
1) Verdades
2) One Heart
3) Misery
4) 12th Night
5) The Ghost of You
6) Ours Again
7) It's Just a Death
8) Words and Deeds
9) Let Me In
10) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
11) Second Skin; 12) The Ardent Tide
"...perfectly orchestrated soundscapes of blissful enchantment..."