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Echolyn - Mei CD (album) cover

MEI

Echolyn

 

Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 242 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Here's a short list of the competition for one-song albums: the Tull contributions, Journey to Center of the Earth, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (at least one disc of the double-album), and Echolyn's Mei (of course there are others, but these are what I'm most familiar with). I think Mei compares favorably to these. On the other hand, it suffers from similar flaws as the other one-songers (even Thick as a Brick included!), such as lack of continuity, too many melodies (or variations on the good ones), and a lackluster grand finale. Maybe 30 minutes is the upper limit of an effective epic, because even though these album-length tunes have epic qualities, they just don't feel like an epic.

Pros. Mei offers 50 minutes of solid music. That's something you can't say of too many albums out there, which is quite impressive. There are plenty of great tunes, and they are reasonably well-transitioned, considering the scope of the task. The album also generally has a consistent feel--an overall happy, reflect-on-how-good-life-is quality--interrupted by fits of intensity and anger. Fortunately the contrast is not too drastic, and you're left with a feeling of having been on a pleasant journey when you sit through the entire piece.

Cons. Could this have been made into a more concise song? Sure. But then what would you change? That's the difficult part, because there's so much tight playing, catchy melodies, and varied textures/instrumentation throughout. Maybe complete appreciation focuses more on the story, and that would be a limitation: although the music feels coherent, the story (lyrics) are relatively boring. Maybe that's also a personal preference. I'd rather have someone tell me an interesting story than dance around the important details.

Mei is certainly a difficult album to review. It's not intense, groundbreaking, or technically difficult, but it is 50 minutes of good music. That's a solid three-stars in my book.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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