The initial impression just from looking at this CD was that there was going to be some dark music with some type of Middle Eastern percussive grooves in it. Naturally, that would be anyone's reaction in the underground upon viewing the cover art, which is emblazoned with a photographic collage of art, ancient Egyptian paintings and fabric. The cover work is gorgeous but wipe any thought that anything remotely Middle Eastern sounding will come from this CD.
Instead, we are treated to a band that is actually a band! After enduring so many one-man bands with keyboards that "sound" like an orchestra, my ears almost went into shock upon hearing real people playing real instruments! The music is alternative rock, but before you get into a snit that it isn't goth rock, let me assure you that the musicianship is tight as are the vocals and lyrics. These are intelligently written lyrics from artists who have more to say than "touch me, thrill me, oops I did it again." Their sound is approachable and their lyrical leanings are not abstract. They have a 10,000 Maniacs meets Lisa Loeb style to them, utilizing music to make a commentary on social, political, and relationship issues of the day.
The first track, Welcome could easily have been a theme song for the many cheaters and traders that are notoriously stealing from other artists on MP3.com with all of their electronic scamming. The song also sounds as if the Beatles would have written it! Rosemary Says brought to mind some of people that one has met along the way who get swept up into some cult like religious fervor as a means to escape the real world rather than dealing with life head on.
The track 1969 made me think of all of the flower children of that era and how their visions of idealism all went up with smoke. One wonders if this track isn't sort of autobiographical to some extent as well. Hard Hand of War should receive a special mention simply because it is a theme that is sadly one that will always be within our psyche as long as we have war mongering machines bent on destruction. The song doesn't over sentimentalize or trivialize the tragedy. Instead, the lyrics asks us to think about the blood stains that belong to our sons and daughters and how many more mothers are crying over senseless deaths in the name of war.
As far as alternative rock fare with some folk rock leanings, Eyes of Pandora delivers with just enough hooks to make you sit up and take notice. If your taste is along the lines of 10,000 Maniacs, then you are more than likely going to really enjoy this CD. The female fronted vocals with expert background choruses deliver a rich full-bodied sound. This CD has a pop and radio friendly appeal, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on one's perspective about music such as that.