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Echolyn - Mei CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 329 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Echolyn were always a somewhat eclectic group, somewhat symphonic, somewhat jazzy, somewhat mainstreamish. Their last album showed hints of what was to come, sprinkled inbetween the songs on "Cowboy Poems Are Free" were short instrumental tracks that had some cleverness to them and placed them close to Radiohead land. Now, by no means am I comparing "Mei" to Radiohead. It's just that Echolyn progressed and tried something different, and that something different was to play one 49 minute continuous song. Did they pull it off successfully? Maybe not as successful as Jethro Tull's masterpiece "Thick As A Brick". Or maybe even their "A Passion Play", (although it's damn close me hardies). But I will say it's THEIR masterpiece. You will not find another Echolyn album with more instrumentation then this one. Look at the listing above for the shear number of musicians involved. Sure, there's words aplenty, and that's a good thing when we're talking about Echolyn who write some of the most clever lyrics this side of the Atlantic. But hey, I'm writing a review for a website where wordplay is overshadowed by how one plays de instuments...and the boyz came to play! Right from the get go, there's some moodiness coupled with a dose of sadness keyboard-wise and guitar-wise. The melody pops up in spots with a heavy dose at the end. A sad beginning and a sad ending. Inbetween though is some outright jamming jazzy symphonic prog that would make any American proud. There's a touch of Gentle Giant in the mix here and there, (go on and listen for it). I even agree with another reviewer about hearing Maynard from Tool's influence in a spot about 30 minutes in. If you're a fan of the band, you'll just love this album. If you're new, don't be turned off by the length. Their signature sound is there and then some. Don't know if I can honestly rate this up there with "Thick As A Brick", but 4.5 sounds about right. Bravo!
NJprogfan | 4/5 |


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