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ECHOLYN

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Echolyn biography
Strongly influenced by GENTLE GIANT, this outstanding american band has enough musicianship to deliver original, powerful, intricate, yet beautiful prog rock. The music is full of details, either in strong passages or in the quietest acoustic moods. The GG like Fender Rhoades piano brings the music to a higher atmosphere on the quiet parts. Fabulous acoustic guitar is present all the time, to break the power stream at the right time - always. Theres nothing more to say. This is essencial american prog rock, and "As The World" is their masterpiece.

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I Heard You ListeningI Heard You Listening
Cdbaby/Cdbaby 2015
Audio CD$19.25
$62.00 (used)
The End Is BeautifulThe End Is Beautiful
Import
CD BABY.COM/INDYS 2006
Audio CD$13.41
$9.96 (used)
EcholynEcholyn
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$16.62
$14.00 (used)
MeiMei
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$13.69
$12.27 (used)
As the WorldAs the World
Sony 1995
Audio CD$19.98
$5.98 (used)
Suffocating the BloomSuffocating the Bloom
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$11.99
$7.78 (used)
As the WorldAs the World
Import
Velveteen Records 2012
Audio CD$14.93
$15.00 (used)
A Little NonsenseA Little Nonsense
Import
Velveteen 2005
Audio CD$175.77
$60.00 (used)
Cowboy Poems FreeCowboy Poems Free
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$13.69
$12.86 (used)
Stars & GardensStars & Gardens
Multiple Formats · Import
CD Baby 2012
DVD$38.37
$19.95 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
echolyn / Brett Kull-Orange-ish Blue CD NEW USD $18.52 Buy It Now 6h 9m
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CROSS - DE CAPO SEALED 2014 DIGIPACK CLASSY NEO PROG GALLEON ANEKDOTEN ECHOLYN USD $11.08 Buy It Now 21h 17m
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As the World by Echolyn (CD, Mar-1995, Epic (USA)) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 22 days
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ECHOLYN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ECHOLYN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 117 ratings
Echolyn
1991
4.18 | 271 ratings
Suffocating The Bloom
1992
3.95 | 276 ratings
As The World
1995
2.94 | 88 ratings
When The Sweet Turns Sour
1996
3.81 | 156 ratings
Cowboy Poems Free
2000
4.13 | 290 ratings
Mei
2002
3.97 | 197 ratings
The End Is Beautiful
2005
4.09 | 488 ratings
echolyn
2012
3.79 | 176 ratings
I Heard You Listening
2015

ECHOLYN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 7 ratings
Progfest '94 - The Official Bootleg
2002
3.68 | 25 ratings
Official Live Bootleg: Jersey Tomato
2002

ECHOLYN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.40 | 33 ratings
Stars And Gardens - Volume 4
2004

ECHOLYN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 19 ratings
A Little Nonsense Now And Then - Boxed Set
2002

ECHOLYN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 22 ratings
And Every Blossom
1993
2.38 | 5 ratings
As The World 2000 / Suffocating The Bloom 2000
2000
3.90 | 10 ratings
Accumulated Blur
2012
4.00 | 4 ratings
Lovesick Morning
2012
4.20 | 5 ratings
Moments with No Sound
2012
4.00 | 4 ratings
This Is How We Left It
2012
4.34 | 10 ratings
Crows Fly By
2013
3.95 | 10 ratings
Another Stone
2013

ECHOLYN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 As The World by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.95 | 276 ratings

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As The World
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This one is perhaps my favourite of the major echolyn albums of the 1990s, charting as it does an intriguing middle course from the neo-progesque accessibility and catchiness of their self-titled debut album and the more esoteric complexity and experimentalism of Suffocating the Bloom. They do not, for instance, go all-out for the intricate Gentle Giant-esque vocal interplay that they dabbled with on Suffocating the Bloom, but they do show the influence of that band. In particular, they have masterfully managed the same knack that Gentle Giant had, especially in their early years, of balancing technical complexity with beauty and accessibility.

It could have been a wonderful gateway drug to prog for so many - and for quite a few, of course, it was. But it's a tremendous shame that Sony refused to help promote the album at all, leaving echolyn to handle that by themselves; what, after all, is the point of signing someone to a multi-album record deal on the strength of releases like the far less commercial and far more oblique Suffocating the Bloom, only to abruptly get cold feet as soon as the musicians produce an album for you? But hey, it works for me.

 Echolyn by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.82 | 117 ratings

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Echolyn
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The debut album by echolyn gets overlooked a lot, and perhaps part of that is down to the way it's tended to sit out of print, with the most recent reissue I am aware of being on the 3CD odds-and-sods compilation A Little Nonsense. That said, I think there's more to the story than that: the reason this echolyn album isn't quite as widely celebrated as their other two major albums of the 1990s is that it doesn't quite sound like we expect an echolyn album to sound.

Specifically, on this release echolyn practice a well-honed neo-prog style which shows little evidence of the Gentle Giant inspiration which would make Suffocating the Bloom such a characterful and unusual release. The complex interweaving vocal harmonies they worked in there, in particular, seem to be more or less missing. What you get instead, though, is a well-polished and accessible neo-prog album which is a pretty decent listen (though I could do without the occasional pandering to classic rock traditions that could perhaps be left to quietly die out, like the rather dull drum solo in Clumps of Dirt).

There is, in particular, a certain warmth to the album that sometimes feels like it gets a little lost on subsequent echolyn releases, which means that if you are fond of the band I honestly think it's worth your while to track it down in whatever form it's available in and give it a listen, because whilst this doesn't sound like the echolyn we know, it's still an echolyn which is worth your attention.

 I Heard You Listening by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.79 | 176 ratings

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I Heard You Listening
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

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.

 I Heard You Listening by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.79 | 176 ratings

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I Heard You Listening
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by duclos

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 the wonderfully recorded album in it's 24bit/96kHz version for months now and it's a beautiful album that really shows Echolyn really not caring to live up to it's prog-laden roots but just to writing great, interesting, heartfelt songs. This will hurt them in the accumulation of prog accolades but Echolyn are past that. What you get now is the amazing groove laid down by Paul Ramsey with his partner Tom falling right into place beside him, the more and more warm and tasty keyboard stylings of Chris Buzby and the dual lead vocalists Brett Kull and Ray Weston emoting gorgeously throughout.

The album is strong with a nice even keel of quality throughout. In light of the many tracks that came out separately after the 2012 album (only at Bandcamp) you get the impression that if those are "not good enough" for an album or even that they just didn't fit somewhere that the band have a really high threshold for what makes it onto an album-what's worth working on to completion and to commit to a collection of songs to be called an Echolyn album. So the meticulousness shown on I HEARD YOU LISTENING is well appreciated. The energy on "Warjazz" and the cool soul on the verses of "Carried Home" stand out the most for me as the rest of the album is just solid HIGH-standard issue Echolyn. All the pitch slide harmonies and other patented Echolynisms are there.

If you read the "making of" on their website or have heard interviews lately, it's inspiring how much they really love what they do and have such strong friendships that inform the music they make. The attention to detail make this album worth having in your collection and it's a welcome addition to their canon of music.

 I Heard You Listening by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.79 | 176 ratings

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I Heard You Listening
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

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.

 echolyn by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.09 | 488 ratings

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echolyn
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars More of the same.

And frankly, when you're talking about a band that consistently produces good tunes and happy songs, that's never such a bad thing, is it?

It's still filled with good tunes and great jams, as "Islands" and "Headright" will attest to, but interesting surprises abound, such as "Locust To Bethlehem", which a slower, more lyrical and methodical piece, but not a ballad at all. Syncopated beats here and quick time signature changes there and lilting strings in the background, and it's all typical Echolyn.

"Some Memorial" also mixes things up a bit, throws in a lot of stutter-step beats and there's almost a slight echo of Glass Hammer and even Crosby, Stills and Nash here and there.It's not bad, but it's a bit too juttery for me. Also not for me is "Past Gravity", a 7 minute long ballad that, while nice, is a bit too long. Takes too long to get going, and then when it finally gets off the ground, I'm bored already.

VERDICT: It's a decent release, this self-titled work. Not my favorite, but there are some hits (mainly "Islands" and "Headright"). Overall, it's a much more tame album, certainly much more than "The End Is Beautiful", and also much more lyrically focused. Songs like "When Sunday Spills" and "Speaking In Lampblack" are tame, emotional efforts. More relaxing than the more technical "The End Is Beautiful" but also not as catchy and "jump right in" as "Mei" or "Cowboy Poems Free". In the end, it's a much more emotional release, with beautiful cascading string melodies and choral harmonies. Still a great album, it's just not immediately gripping or engaging to all who listen.

 The End Is Beautiful by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.97 | 197 ratings

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The End Is Beautiful
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I found this to be shocking, this album, a stunning combination of accessibility with traces of complex prog influences, a unique balance of simple and complex, catchy and chaotic, a unique example in the world of prog, and indeed music in general.

"Georgia Pine" is a fantastic starter to this kind of album. It's catchy, it's full of energy, but it's not going to be a radio-friendly track at all. It's a fantastic blend of progressive elements and catchy radio-friendly jams that's just cool and fun and brilliant. "Heavy Blue Miles" on the other hand has unique melodies that are still fun to listen to, but the verses are much softer than its interconnecting parts, an unusually structured song, but in a good way.

"Lovesick Morning" is a 10+ minute ballad, essentially, not too overproduced or complicated, and is essentially a culmination of this Spock's Beard-esque pop prog sound that actually works really well, while "Make Me Sway" is a funky, groove-backed track that swings and syncopates and grooves like no other. All of these songs, even only halfway through the album, are a culmination of Echolyn's sound that had potential in the 90's, but never developed to the point of my liking until the turn of the 21st century with "Cowboy Poems Free".

And it's been a problem once I discovered bands that were rooted in progressive rock from day one, but were also capable of producing catchy, listenable, driving-friendly tracks. It's a compromise that actually benefits both and harms neither, a best of both worlds, and obviously as a fan of progressive rock music, I've never been a fan of the mainstream, for many reasons. And yet, I'm still unashamed for finding a song with a catchy pop lyric or melody and just grooving and bopping out to it in my car. There's a time and place for serious music, and also a time and place for music that just makes you feel good.

And here, I've never come across a bunch of songs that are able to combine both ideals in a seamless and almost effortless form. Sure, the title track is a bit of a dark subject lyrically at times, but it still develops into a nice jam. "So Ready" starts in an unusual psuedo-a capella fashion that, once again, settles into a funky, rock organ-driven groove and another catchy chorus. "Arc Of Dissent" changes it up a bit, with a nice, floating waltz-like ballad, while "Misery, Not Memory" close out the album in a typical symph prog fashion in bombastic fashion, filled with driving energy and ceaseless passion. In short, a brilliant finish to a brilliant album.

 Mei by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.13 | 290 ratings

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Mei
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

5 stars From a band whose best efforts come out of concise songs with catchy hooks and melodies, and rely rather more on simplicity over complexity, a singular 50 minute long epic seems kinda unusual for this band's repertoire.

But that's exactly what they did with their 2003 album "Mei". And strangely, it doesn't sound like a big Yes tribute album or Spock's Beard-esque colossal concept album. In fact, the intro is fairly simple, a nice little ballad strolling along until the band fully kicks in about 5 minutes later, with catchy melodies in hand, and yet prog elements still remain, with unusual jump cuts to minimal instrumentation, with samples of vibes and synth action cutting in between a funky drum groove and a really impressive and aggressive effort from the singers.

Even by this point, it's an impressive album because it doesn't sound like a typical, bombastic concept album by some 70's prog band, and even though most of the defining sections of the song don't really connect together like an epic or concept album, I'm not turned off from it because I don't get that impression from the first listen. Yes, it's one giant 50-minute long song, but it doesn't have a bombastic intro or long prolonged overture. It's very understated in its construction, and therefore comes off with a sense of modesty. In fact, overall the album tends to have a laid-back groove to it, the band's not in a rush to get anywhere, not in a rush to tell a story or paint a picture, but rather it feels like one long jam the band put together with scheduled improvs in between controlled verses and phrases of singing.

And frankly, I think because of this laid-back groovy song, it's probably one of my favorite 30+ minute prog songs ever, mainly from the fact it doesn't take itself too seriously. And probably the most interesting thing about this album as well is that Echolyn's signature sound is still present and audible, but rather than overcomplicate and overproduce, it feels as if the band has taken a more relaxed approach, not that they don't care about it, but rather just want the music to do all the talking and not dilute it with overcomplexity.

And perhaps because of that, it's an album that's so easy to get into, there's a ton of groovy sections and equally as much beautiful ballad sections, and it doesn't sound either cheesy or nostalgic of 70's prog, either. In fact, Echolyn on this album have created a sound that doesn't sound unlike a combination of Spock's Beard and jam bands (a la moe. or Phish). And as such, unlike perhaps previous Echolyn albums or other symphonic prog bands, there's nothing here that ticks me off, no predictable sections that make me cringe when they happen. Nothing like that. As much of an oxymoron that it may be, it's a simple epic.

And that's what makes it so great. So great, in fact, I actually have it on my driving playlist. That's how good it is, because that means it's not only considered a progressive masterpiece, but it's also incredible accessible, but also it's full of good jams and relaxing moments. In short, it really has almost everything you could really want, just nothing that you'd expect . Which, when referring to a prog band, is something you probably WOULD expect, that being the unexpected.

It really is a rare beast, this. A unicorn, an 847-year cycle comet. And as such, it'll be a cherished album of mine for many years to come.

 Cowboy Poems Free by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.81 | 156 ratings

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Cowboy Poems Free
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must admit, this album came as quite a surprise.

"The End Is Beautiful" is my personal favorite from this band's repertoire. It's a good balance and blend of technical, proggy influences with good melodies and, honestly, some kinda catchy tunes ("Georgia Pine" at the top of that list), but I decided to head backwards into their catalog and find their first successful attempt at this unique sound, which at first I thought was "As The World", but I found it still had some stale "90's prog" sound to it. It just didn't sound unique or and original, and neither did it stand out from a traditional, technical prog standard with organ or blazing guitar solos or anything. It was actually a let down after such a promising opener in the title track.

However, I never thought I'd find myself enjoying "Cowboy Poems Free" as much as I am. Right away, "Texas Dust" and "Human Lottery" introduce both catchy tunes and unusual time signatures befitting of prog influenced bands. The rock organ keys just seem to have so much more life into them, a bit like classic Spock. Now this band starts to sound unique, original, kinda like the way Spock's Beard rose to prominence. They didn't bother with trying to sound like traditional prog, they focused on creating good tunes they were different, but also of the times.

Same goes with this album. "Grey Flannel Suits" honestly doesn't sound like a song written in 2000, or 1990 or even the 1970's for that matter. The occasional time signature changes, the rock organ driven sound, the catchy tunes. To me, if you focus on trying to create an original sound, chances are, you end up creating an original sound and interest in your band will grow more because your sound will stick out.

And this album has that, that special something previous albums didn't have. There are still those unique little items, proggy tidbits of sounds and noise and techniques that divert a bit from the mainstream, but you can also tell, especially from this album, that above all, these guys are just having fun making this music. There's no doubt they were also having fun making music before this album, but for the first time, I feel that here you can actually SENSE that they're having fun from the perspective of you, as the listener.

And of course, there's also an identity with most, if not all of these tracks. The "poems" interspersed may be merely interludes, but "High As Pride" really does come off as a genuine ballad of sorts. Every single song has a groove and direction taken that's easy for the listener to follow, unlike "As The World", where I really couldn't follow them at all.

It's no masterpiece, but in a general sense of catchy prog that's still faithful to the genre, this is definitely a surprise, and a staple of the Echolyn musical catalog.

 As The World by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.95 | 276 ratings

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As The World
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Echolyn has always been a conundrum when trying to listen and analyze their music. It's not terrible, but I've never been the biggest fan.

Perhaps I've just never given them a full in-depth listen. "Suffocating The Bloom", I never finished. It sounded like typical outdated 90's prog I just couldn't take it anymore. "As The World", however, shows their attempt to move towards a more accessible, catchier prog. Although I could never recite the lyrics to the title track, the fact that the groove is in 5/8 makes swinging along to it predictable, and slightly enjoyable, but frankly that may be an exception to the rule. "Uncle" is a lengthy 7 minute track that I can't describe, other for the fact that there was singing of notes atop notes played by guitars and synth with some drums playing in the background. It's not a static track, either, it occasionally jutters and stutter-steps across syncopated rhythms, but for the life of me, I can't remember much of it.

And frankly the album suffers from much of the same syndrome. It still feels like "90's prog", honest, good-working, well-tempered musicians trying hard to create a genre that not only sounds dated, but feels and behaves dated as well. The attempt to marry catchy songs with traditional prog is a good attempt, but the 90's just weren't the day and age to really do that. The only band to really garner respect from it (in my mind) was Spock's Beard, and even then Morse's voice sounded (and still at times) a bit flat, lacking clarity and quality, almost the achilles' heel of 90's prog.

For those who DO like 90's sounding prog, both "Suffocating The Bloom" and "as The World" are perfect, but this album at least has a good attempt in simple, distilled swings at the catchy prog bat. I haven't gotten to their newest album yet, but as of this review, I still hold "The End Is Beautiful" as their greatest achievement so far. A brilliant balance of Echolyn's styles and influences that began to really brew at the start of this album.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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