Cuba came in at the tail end of my running open mikes in the NW while Langston was part of Entropy Service in the early 70's with Judy Cook, Linda Waterfall and JB White (CDs of that group at www.peterlangston.com). In late 1990 I reviewed a Cuba tape done in Miami, before she moved here and got involved in PSGWS. That introduced her to Langston. This is folk rock with up front vocal and good instrumental balance. She maintains that haunting soulful singing style, but now with more body and maturity in songs like "New Math" showing the loneliness of losing the grip on a relationship. The slow insinuating mood continues on "One Inch of Water" with a Spanish guitar and dissonant mood.

Langston takes multiple roles with bass, guitar and vocals. Another Ancient Victorys performer Alicia Healey is on many backup vocals including "Blue Bird" with electric organ push of Johnny Sangster. Eileen paints scenery so well like the country fields and farms, familiar looks of a home, the yard, all the while emitting the youthful visions. "Simple Geometry" shows how un-simple it is when things don't fit, like a "circle in a square box". Like many of her songs the music moves, almost forced walking, weaving through ideas and landscapes while building the tension and delivery.

She talk sings the walk in "Truth or Dare" highlighting that "do you really want to hear the truth', kind of a Jack Nicholson moment. "Touch Tap Twist Tremble" breaks the tempo quick stepping the same theme of a guy "I need jive, I have absolutely no need to see your insides." This digs right in and grabs you again using slight dissonance in guitars to get your attention. The kalimba driven song focuses the dreams and ideas of music that come, and how we have to believe we can translate those to functioning music. Great thematic. Like the simple acoustic guitar and vocal of "Frozen." Images of falling through love in frozen breaths and then love that is just frozen end in that you must take your stuff away.

We wander in an insinuating motion off the "Deep End" to close the fine set of tunes as daughter and mother dance life's conflict.

Simple Geometry is about rhythm and relationships. In a mostly staccato monotone, Eileen Cuba's alto voice sings and speaks her poetry. As one might gather from the title of the CD, many of these original pieces use geometry as a metaphor and describe relationships in terms of angles, shapes, sizes, equations and arithmetic. This is especially true of the title track and track 1, "New Math."

In other pieces, nature and sound are the predominate themes. "Blue Bird," is my favorite. It really shows off Cuba's talent for descriptive writing. My only criticism of Cuba's lyrics is that she really pushes a theme. She makes her point, however.

Cuba does not write in iambic pentameter or play every song in 4/4 time. Her rhythms and the chords she chooses to express them with are more complicated than that, and therefore more interesting.

The guitar work that supports this effort is right on the mark. Peter Langston plays lead electric guitar on most of the tracks. Cuba plays acoustic.

It's a powerful combination backed up nicely by Johnny Sangster on bass, percussion, electric piano, harmonium and farfisa, Alicia Healey on vocals, Mark Pickerel on drums and Jim Sangster on bass.

Simple Geometry does have its more melodic moments. "Frozen," is a pretty song made more so by Paul Elliot's violin. Simple Geometry is not Cuba's first recording. In 1990 Chris Lunn reviewed a tape of her recordings in Victory Review, and in 2003 Alicia Healey produced and engineered Cuba's EP If.

Simple Geometry is well worth listening to. It's perfect for people looking for something a little out of the ordinary, something that challenges our ideas about folk music.

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New CD!

Eileen released her latest recording "THAT CHAIR" this July. For samples go to the MUSIC page or the MUSIC PLAYER below. Available as a CD or download from CD BABY. Also available in iTunes. 


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