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Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 195 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Squire Jaco
5 stars With a focus on intimate profiles of early 20th century Americana and historical events and circumstances, "Cowboy Poems Free" creates a new sound for Echolyn, while still retaining many of the progressive trademarks that they displayed on earlier cd's. This is a great cd.

The band itself is top-notch: they've consistently written great songs with compelling lyrics spanning a wide variety of subjects and emotions. Great technicians - they don't overplay, but you get the clear sense that they are both confident and competent in their musical abilities. They excel at fast-paced, multi-layered prog that's reminiscent at times of Gentle Giant's virtuosity and dissonance, and National Health's progressive-fusion cleverness; but they can also slow down and croon a ballad as lovely and heartfelt as anything out there.

The music here is at times fun, often reflective, and always new and interesting - really holds your attention, while still offering some nice melodic hooks. My personal favorites are centered in the middle of the album with "1729 Broadway", "High as Pride", "American Vacation Tune" and "Brittany". "Texas Dust" is also a great energetic album opener, and the cd ends with the absolutely gorgeous "Too Late For Everything".

I also like the vocals on this CD much more than on "As the World", and especially "Suffocating the Bloom" (where Weston could occasionally sound like an over-dramatic Michael Sadler from Saga!). And some great vocal harmonies here too, which at times remind me of....Steely Dan?! I don't know why - maybe the subject matter and some of the wry, bittersweet lyrics.

This is a band that deserves a lot more attention. Their CD "As the World" was a bit more classic prog than this, but very good. And 2002's "Mei" has some moments of true inspiration. "Cowboy Poems Free" balances those two albums by showing a more personal, folkier side. Get this album. Get them all.

Squire Jaco | 5/5 |


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