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Echo Us - Inland Empire CD (album) cover


Echo Us



3.32 | 10 ratings

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Prog Dog
3 stars Inland Empire by Echo Us is a flowing, seductive and elegant album of dreamy ambient progressive rock written and performed by multi-instrumentalist Ethan Matthews out of Portland, Oregon.

The album covers a vast expanse of inspirations, taking the listener on a audio journey across the more far-flung curves of the planet. It is a keyboard/synth and guitar-based album, with varied and often exotic approaches to percussion. There's lots of Mike Oldfield-esque guitar solos, as well as plenty of complex Steve Hackett-like nylon string acoustics. Parts of the album remind me of David Sylvian too (and I'm a big fan of all the aforementioned musicians).

Ethan's vocals don't take on a constantly-present 'lead singer' type of role. Rather he visits within the songs as they unfold and he punctuates and narrates. I couldn't help but be reminded of the vocalists from Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Arcade Fire. There are also interesting speaking and singing vocal clips dropped in thoughout.

It's a rich, lushly produced album. Ethan is a gifted composer and very tasteful with the vast array of textures that adorn the album. For example, though I'm not a fan of harsher digital keyboards and prefer analog tones, Ethan draws on both and I could find not a single fault in any of his wide pallette of choices.

Prog Dog | 3/5 |


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