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Echolyn I Heard You Listening album cover
3.83 | 238 ratings | 12 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Messenger of All's Right (6:24)
2. Warjazz (5:16)
3. Empyrean Views (9:18)
4. Different Days (7:47)
5. Carried Home (5:10)
6. Once I Get Mine (5:40)
7. Sound of Bees (6:58)
8. All This Time We're Given (7:59)
9. Vanishing Sun (7:34)

Total Time 62:06

Bonus track on Digital album:
10. Love, Why Weren't You Missed (3:39)

Line-up / Musicians

- Raymond Weston / lead & backing vocals, bass (3)
- Brett Kull / guitars, lead & backing vocals
- Christopher Buzby / keyboards, backing vocals
- Thomas Hyatt / bass, guitar (3), backing vocals
- Paul Ramsey / drums & percussion, backing vocals

- Jacque Varsalona / backing vocals (1,3,5)

Releases information

2LP Plane Groovy ‎- PLG037 (2015, UK)

CD Self-released (2015, US)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ECHOLYN I Heard You Listening ratings distribution

(238 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ECHOLYN I Heard You Listening reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ECHOLYN I Heard You Listening

"Messenger of All's Right" (6:23) opens with a brilliant use of space and pace with no over-the top melodies or incongruous changes. At least for the first three minutes. Guitar solo at 3:00 sucks. The quiet gap of whispered vocal after is also odd but okay. Another odd guitar solo--very odd choice of guitar sound--almost like Dave Gregory's (XTC, Big Big Train). "--there is one who'll pull me out" ?!?!?!? WTF?! (8/10)

2. "Warjazz" (5:16) sounds like an Echolyn attempt at heavier rock. Again, the choices of guitar sounds are not at all to my liking. Odd lyrical message. Nice coda at the end of the third minute leading into a nice section of harmonized vocals. This is followed by an abrasive section of guitar and screeching voice before the song pauses and winds up for the closing minute. (6/10)

3. "Empyrean Views" (9:18) starts out sounding so familiar Echolyn--like a total rehashing of the music from their last album's "Past Gravity." The switch at 3:13 tries to move away from this, but then they get into their older, early STEELY DAN "Country-Jazz" sound. This is acceptable, sometimes enjoyable, thought the choral shout "calls for a destination" is odd and completely lost on me, lyrical deaf-mute that I am. The dreamy waltz arpeggios at 6:40 are engaging, but then just as soon they are gone. A decent Jeff Baxter-Like guitar solo fills the eighth minute before synths take over and start a friendly duel with the guitarist. This could definitely be an early DOOBIE BROTHERS or STEELY DAN song! (8/10)

4. "Different Ways" (7:47) opens like an attempt at a YES song (Drama/90120) before settling into a true STEELY DAN sound. ("Any Major Dude" comes to mind.) The chorus returns to the YES "Changes"-sounding form. Really odd bridge at 3:20 leads into heavy section before things quiet down and Fagen sing-talks one of his signature stories. A little early AMBROSIA sound is recognizable in this one as the song gets into its final third. (7/10)

5. "Carried Home" (5:10) opens with a gorgeous sound, like a classic hit song from the late 60s?from the CLASSICS IV ("Stormy"), THE BEATLES or even The Association. An awesome, aweome song. I love the female background vocals at 2:40 followed by a truly great electric guitar solo. The best singing I've ever heard from this band. Great AMERICA-like harmony at 3:25--which leads into a nice section of great lead and harmony vocals to the end. (9/10)

6. "Once I Get Mine" (5:40) plays like a song from the early 80s--like THE TUBES meet THE KNACK to play XTC. A complete throw away song for me. Even the jazz-rock section at 2:40 can't bring me back. (5/10)

7. "Sound of Bees" (6:57) is built over a nice weave of arpeggios--from guitar, piano, and bass--which are then intermittently added to by different instruments throughout the course of the song. The lyric or vocalist's melody line are not interesting enough to lure me in. Nice solo guitar work over organ from 3:10 on. (8/10)

8. "All This Time We're Given" (7:59) opens with a guitar sound going way back to the 50s or 60s over which a gorgeous CROSBY, STILLS & NASH like voice sings plaintively. Great shift at 1:42. I'm really loving this vocal! I might even try to go into the lyric to try to figure out what he's singing about! AT 3:10 there is a shift into more aggressive rock--very much in keeping with a late 60s CROSBY, STILLS & NASH song. It's working! Even the more aggressive singing voice and harmonies. AT 4:58 there's another shift into some very delicate solo electric guitar picking before the vocal and the rest of the band returns to rehash the A and B sections. I love the NEIL YOUNG-like stand-up piano solos in the seventh minute! Nice job! (8/10) 9. "Vanishing Sun" (7:32) opens with some distorted walking bass lines and raunchy electric guitar chord strums. Drums eventually establish a rhythm which the heavy bass settles into and then organ joins in. At the two minute mark an odd new song begins with a nondescript aggressive vocal performance scringing his way into a better chorus section. And swear words! "Kill me now!" he says. Now I can't help but hear some of the words: "Anger is the root," "...set the room ablaze," "What a wasted life," "What a lonely life." The band as a whole seems to try to express anger through their increasingly aggressive and loud instrumental play before settling into a DAVID BOWIE "Suffragette City" kind of jam to the end. (6/10)

These guys are obviously talented and knowledgable and intelligent but their music just never connects with me. I appreciate it and I play it--always giving it another chance, trying to figure out what I'm missing--but I leave it in dismay and never seek it out. Even my favorite song of theirs, "The End Is Beautiful" I rarely play. I try Cowboy Poems Free three or four times a year. No luck. Inconsistency and a little too much obscure quirk keep me at a distance. What impresses me most is their use of odd--very odd--chords--sometimes just one single chord--thrown into songs at the oddest of places--chords that feel as if they were saving from a tremendous wealth of collected chords from a tremendously deep knowledge and familiarity with the vast history of rock'n'roll and music in general. But, like an inside joke or a family's private language, I seem to be left on the outside. Maybe as "All This Time We're Given" and "Carried Home" make there rounds on my "new music" playlist I'll snap into it. It took me 35 years to "get" and fall head over heels in love with Gentle Giant. Maybe it'll be the same for Echolyn. Until then this is a three star album for me--3.5 at best.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
3 stars The release of "Suffocating the Bloom" was a big event in my listening experience in 1992. I was discovering a rare American band with complicated music structures with three part vocals, but yet easy to get into. The influence of Gentle Giant was obvious and i didn't need more to become a follower of their music through the years. After their hiatus in the 90's, the band came back with "Cowboys Poems Free" that had a more direct rock approach. But with the album "Mei", the band was back with a more adventurous album with a 45 minutes epic. And now with this one, we have songs in the range of 5 to 9 minutes. This is not the most progressive release of the band, many songs are on the mellow side with the constant presence of vocals, which keep the songs enjoyable. "Different Days" is the typical Echolyn song of the past with some breaks, jazzy parts and that typical guitar style. The band continue to play with the intensity of the music that goes to the delicate to the more heavier parts. There is still a lot of piano on this CD. "Once I get Mine" is showing that Gentle Giant influence with the keyboards upfront and a nice break bass/guitar.I had felt in some long passages of that CD that there was not much going on to excite me, despite the beautiful vocals of Raymond Weston. Is this another band that over the years didn't connect with me as much as they did at the beginning? I don't think that the band did change, probably only me.
Review by Wicket
2 stars And now we get to Echolyn's latest album, hailed as a gem from the prog faithful here.

And frankly, it's not what I expected. "Messenger Of All's Right" has a strong whiff of their self-titled album, a much tamer release compared to their back catalog, but the difference here is essentially the length and style. Rather then complicate it and write out checks the song can't catch, the beat always remains laid back, deciding to be predictable and therefore an enjoyable, relaxing listen, for a moment, anyway. "Warjazz" picks up the excitement a bit, but still remaining a bit muffled, while "Empyrean Views" once again sits back and just floats by in a hazy sea of "not really much to remember".

"Different Days" finally wakes up this whole album, and kicks me into a realization; this album is HEAVILY piano reliant. Honestly, there are songs I forget even have guitars playing. "Different Days" is a good song, but an exception to the rule. Most of the songs sound choked, muffled, repressed by the onslaught of piano and the lack of guitars. Yes, there are exceptions, "Different Days", "Once I Get Mine", and perhaps "Warjazz", but the rest of it is just muddled. Not even catchy melodies or verses can save these songs. It's a shift in a different direction that has been maintained since their self titled release in 2012, a shift I wish didn't happen.

Perhaps it's their shift in style, which makes sense, who really wants to play the same kind of music forever, especially in a prog band? But then again, if it ain't broke, why try to fix it? Or rather, change it? That's my thought on this album. The piano heavy texture just chokes the life and interest out of this album, there's not enough depth here as the songs just sound hollow and empty, the guitars are barely audible, and from a group of guys who can create hooks and melodies like no other, there just aren't any here. And frankly, that's all the best qualities these guys master that just aren't on display at all on this album.

Quite disappointing, really, considering the high praise.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Echolyn, to my ears, are the ultimate treasure of modern American prog rock. At this writing, it's been a full quarter century since their self titled debut. Each album is, in it's own way a gem. Using deeply layered arrangements of surprisingly retro sounding instruments, they have perfected their own style of progressive, in a genre too often accused of borrowing too heavily from forbearers (although what genre of music does not do that?)

"I Heard You Listening" is yet another in an unbroken string of perfectly crafted Echolyn albums. For most of the disc, the tracks alternate between their more romantic side, similar to the songs on their first two albums, and their harder-edged ballsier side, perfected on the album Sony mishandled so long ago, "As The World".

But it's the poetry of the lyrics that bring the tracks together. Say what you will, but both Ray Weston and Brett Kull both have a decidedly sophisticated way of writing lyrics that are sometimes liltingly beautiful, sometimes dark and gritty, but always poetically beautiful. And musically, the depth of the instrumentation, even in the rare moments where they are playing relatively simple passages, are always the perfect backing to the words.

The tracks that stand out to me are:

"Warjazz", with violent imagery and heavy music all around.

"Carried Home", a song that sound deceptively light, but drew me in more and more each time I played it.

"Once I Get Mine", another raucous track that I can't get out of my head.

And "Vanishing Son", a song from the point of view of a protagonist in despair, to the point of suicide, that somehow ends in an out chorus of almost pure exuberance.

I absolutely love the album, but not quite as much as "Mei" and "The End Is Beautiful", so I'll rate it 4.5 out of five, rounding down to 4.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band ECHOLYN was formed back in 1989, and in the early part of the 1990's they became the brightest shining light in the US prog scene when they were signed by one of the major labels. While that label eventually lost faith in the band, that have never been an issue with their fans, and they are still one of the most highly regarded bands in the US progressive rock scene. "I Heard You Listening" is their most recent studio album, and was self-released by the band in 2015.

If awards and ratings were to be decided on the sheer potential commercial scope of an album, "I Heard You Listening" would be among the very rare albums I'd describe as just about perfect. For my particular taste in music it's merely a strong album. I will add to that that there's something of a timeless feel to this album that makes me suspect I'll say the same 20 years from now, which isn't always the case with an album that manage to draw my interest. Other than that, I'd say that by and large this is an album that should have a broad appeal in progressive rock circles: If you like this kind of music in general, this is a CD that merits an inspection.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Ever since the release of 'The End Is Beautiful' in 2005, Echolyn have been consistently releasing masterpiece after masterpiece with each of their albums. 2015s 'I Heard You Listening' is no exception. Personally, I believe that the band peaked on their 2012 self-titled album. I would be shocked if ... (read more)

Report this review (#2983318) | Posted by Magog2112 | Tuesday, January 16, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hard to describe this band, Prog Archives has it categorized under the Symphonic sub genre, however I incline myself more towards the eclectic side of prog, this is also their last studio effort, and quite a spectacular one. The beautiful and catchy Messenger of All's Right opens the album in a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2598249) | Posted by ElChanclas | Friday, October 1, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just when I expected Echolyn to take a well deserved victory lap of live dates after their 2012 self-titled masterpiece they just...well...kept on writing and recording. Seven years in the making, that album hangs like a shadow over this new one which took a brisk three. I've been listening to t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1456739) | Posted by duclos | Thursday, August 27, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, I wrote about 95 percent of a four-page treatise regarding echolyn's new album. I chipped away at the thing for almost two weeks. Then I hit a wall and for reasons unbeknownst couldn't eke out that last 5-ish percent. And then I got to thinking, "Who in hell would want to read four pages r ... (read more)

Report this review (#1450256) | Posted by AmyB | Friday, August 7, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been listening to Echolyn for about 20 years now (yikes time sure flies!) and I've grown to love each one of their albums. Their latest album, "I Heard You Listening" will probably took some listens to get fully stuck in your mind, but boy if it will be worth it! TL;DR: BUY IT! Messen ... (read more)

Report this review (#1448663) | Posted by DeSangre | Monday, August 3, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Where to start with a review of 'I Heard You Listening' ("Listening") the new album by echolyn? I will begin with how important I hoped this album would be for me. I took the day off from work on Friday, July 17th waiting for the digital download code as I had preordered the album on July 1st. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1442885) | Posted by Spook76 | Monday, July 20, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Echolyn can be a difficult band for a newbie, for several reasons. One is that even some of our most articulate critics don't realize that, whenever a piece of art has skill and sincerity behind it, no truly legit critique can occur without analyzing the special resonance between the beholder and th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1441658) | Posted by toddbashee | Friday, July 17, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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