Sound — 9
The musical styling of the album "Once We Were Trees" (by Beachwood Sparks) is defined as "Psychedelic Country/Pop Country". And one can't help but to agree. Some songs are more Country than Psychedelic, and vice-versa. However some songs/covers are a healthy mix in that the instrumental is Psychedelic but the vocals and lyrics are Country (and again vice-versa). Beachwood Sparks' sound is unique because, frankly, no one else really sounds like them. They use a multitude of instruments including guitars, bass', drums, organs, pianos, lap steel guitars, and more. The band broke up shortly after the release of the album, but regrouped in 2008 and are still together to this day.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are very well written. The song "Old Manatee" gives one the feel of slowly drifting through the ocean; much like an old manatee. The song "You Take the Gold" is a pro-nature song (the lyrics clearly show this "You take the gold, and I'll take the forest. But your money tree can't give you any shade). The selling song in the album is clearly "By Your Side" which gained its popularity from being in the movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World". Despite being the most popular song on the album, it was not written by Beachwood Sparks. Instead it is a cover from Sade. However, they cover it perfectly, by keeping the same tone and chords as the Sade version, while keeping their signature sound in the song.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, the album is a 9/10 and definitely a blast from the 1960's and makes good "chill" music. The most impressive songs being "Old Manatee", "Yer Selfish Ways", "You Take the Gold", "Confusion is Nothing New", and of course "By Your Side". I like how the album really would sound like a 60's album to someone who doesn't know that it was actually made in 2002. If this album were stolen or lost, I would buy it again. And then buy one for my girlfriend. And then buy one for my friend.