Edwin's debut solo offering, Another Spin Around the Sun, represents a golden opportunity for the artist to blaze his own trail, his way. A virtual unknown in the U.S., Edwin has made quite a splash in his native Canada over the past seven years as the talented vocalist for I Mother Earth. It was with IME that Edwin achieved award-winning, multi-platinum success with the releases of Dig (1993) and Scenery and Fish (1996). But in 1997, he decided that a change was necessary and walked away from the band while their star was still on the rise. And he never looked back.
Another Spin Around the Sun was released in Canada in the spring of 1999 and spawned four hit singles before being picked up for American release a year later. While the record is by no means monumental, the listener will find its cache of strong material to be both refreshing and entertaining.
The record touches on every aspect of Edwin's stylistic interests, uniquely combining elements of rock, pop and alternative music with quirky sound effects, drum loops and Revolver-era psychedelia. But it's Edwin's strong, versatile vocals that are most impressive. The diverse collection of material gives the vocalist plenty of space to expand his vocal possibilities as evidenced on songs like "Theories," with its' double-tracked Lennonesque vocals, and the somber Thom Yorke-like falsetto on "Screaming Kings."
The record contains several radio-worthy tunes such as "And You," "Amazing," "Rush" and "Alive." Co-written with Jim Huff and Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees), "And You" is a blitzing riff-romp that features a monster chorus over deep descending passages. And then there's "Amazing" and "Rush" which feature Beck-ish arrangements with contagious grooves and excellent harmonies. "Rush" was supposed to feature Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (Edwin lent his vocals to Lifeson's 1996 solo effort, Victor) but the particulars couldn't be worked out. The best song on the record is the six minute epic "Alive." Its warm orchestration and Edwin's passionate vocals exude his zest for being alive. Other noteworthy tunes are the guitar-heavy "Shotgun," the spacey "Take Me Anywhere" and the beautifully hypnotic acoustic ballad, "Better Than This."
Another Spin Around the Sun is a great freshman solo effort and was a huge success in Canada. But until you've achieved success in the America you're just a big fish in a small pond. Here's hoping that Edwin and Another Spin Around the Sun make it to the ocean.