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Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 187 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Chronicling the various conflicts of America, both domestic and foreign, Cowboy Poems Free is glorious and sometimes downtrodden take on both the big picture and the more common elements of life. Each vignette is treated with respect (although there is a touch sarcasm from time to time), and upon digging into the words, I came away with a sense of awe: Many of these tracks are magnificent tributes to the men and women who have railed against hardship, be it economic or martial. The often grim lyrics are usually juxtaposed with music that evokes an opposite feeling, which unbelievably contributes to the powerful nature of this work.

"Texas Dust" An energetic introduction of a first song, the boys of Echolyn come charging right out of the gates like a sequined cape-wearing rodeo rider. As the dust settles, the beautiful verse begins. The chorus is likewise wonderful; the synthesizer and guitar play their part in a wonderfully melodic way. The soloing in the end is well thought out. This song describes the hardship of the dust bowl, and does so with a callous and yet gentle determination.

"Poem #1" A spiraling synthetic piece bridges the first and second songs.

"Human Lottery" A gritty guitar and some keys get things rocking on this one. It has an extremely catchy vocal melody, and the instrumental section that follows is a bunch of brief solos that are excellently executed. The lyrics here have to do with one man's take on the Great Depression.

"Gray Flannel Suits" I'm pleased as punch with this song. It's about as upbeat as it gets, and the lyrics are outstanding. They describe men going of to work in their "look-a-like" suits. It's a great bit of music, and lots of fun in spite of the context.

"Poem #2" It sounds like an introduction to a Sting song, but it works are a phenomenal transition.

"High as Pride" My favorite song from this album, the vocals work over soft piano at first; mesmerizing and beautiful music enters. I love everything about this great song, from the excellent and nostalgic chorus, to the brave instrumental section that features synthesizer and slide guitar. The sputtering vocals in the end are likewise outstanding. The lyrics are reflective and insightful.

"American Vacation Tune" This one is another upbeat song with a great string of lyrical sections. The music stays loud about all the way through, with the exception of a spoken word bit in the middle.

"Swingin' the Axe" This is a great hard song about bootlegging during Prohibition. Given my affinity for drink, it's probably no matter of curiosity as to how I feel about that period in our country.

"1729 Broadway" A depressing song about a man away from his family, who would "give a year" of his life to see the children, this is a beautiful one even if it is rather despondent.

"Poem #3" Tranquil acoustic guitar and saxophone with sparingly played drums make up the third interlude.

"67 Degrees" A song about a sailor away from home, the lyrics are elegant even if the music is a bit harsh. This song is also very good, even if not quite as memorable.

"Brittany" An epistolary song relaying both mundane news and encouragement from a brother to a young man named Rueben away during World War II, this one has several layers of sound, and while not as easy to follow as the other tracks, carries on in heartrending way. The chorus is jaw-dropping: "When the whole world is another world away, you live your life waiting for words from yesterday. Ball and chained to a cause that keeps us free, you live your life waiting at blessed Brittany." That's something to think about.

"Poem #4" The only "poem" with lyrics, the words describe the consequences of war that the living face.

"Too Late for Everything" The horrors of World War I trench warfare betray the lovely, gentle acoustic music. The protagonist tells of yellow gas, trench foot, his buddy being killed mid-sentence, and in the end, he finds some cigarettes by a dead soldier- a small, very small consolation.

Epignosis | 5/5 |


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