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Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free CD (album) cover

COWBOY POEMS FREE

Echolyn

 

Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 126 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

JP312
3 stars The reformed Echolyn of 2000 comes off as a bit of a different animal than the previous early-to-mid '90's incarnation. The sound of the band is more evocative of bluesy-rock, with fewer synthesizers, more organs, lots of additional precussion, and leaner guitars. There seems to be less in common with the better-known symphonic progressive bands and more with American "jam" bands. I would tend to put most of the music on this album as being closer to that of bands like moe. or Little Feat, or even Led Zeppelin, as opposed to bands like Yes or Genesis.

That said, I think they pull this style off very well. The songwriting still remains rather strong overall, though at times the moodier pieces are not as melodically interesting. As mentioned in the other reviews, the subject matter deals with characters throughout 20th Century America on a very personal nature - everyone from soldiers to bootleggers to squeaky clean 50's white collar workers. The more mature voices (vocally and from a songwriting standpoint) serve the songs well here.

Musically speaking, the songs have a lively feel that suggests they developed more out of jamming than elaborate piecemeal arrangement and orchestration. The playing remains strong, and the vocal harmonies are rich as ever. Contrary to some of the other reviews, however, I would say that the flow of the album is somewhat disrupted by the "Poem" tracks, at least the first two. To me they seem to be coming from a different place than the songs that intertwine with them.

The album does take a few listens to really fully appreciate. However, I think it's time well spent. I don't know that I would recommend it strongly to the most hard-core prog fans, hence the three stars, but going beyond the prog genre, I still think of it as a mostly well- crafted rock album, and would probably rate it higher.

JP312 | 3/5 |

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