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Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 203 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I again realized today, how rarely in today's music business of bland attempts of self-important so-called artists, you can find such inspired piece of art. So listening to "Cowboy Poems Free" album made me write a few lines.

Echolyn in general is the band I have grown to love, but it wasn't instant. It took me even years for their full appreciation. They are all excellent musicians without doubt, who doesn't have need to exhibit and play like one man for the overall contribution and impression. The band is not derivative and successfully get rid off cliche - problems of most of their contemporaries. They are easily recognizable, though their influences and heroes are still present (obviously Gentle Giant, Yes even Saga come to mind).

The music itself is in layers, you have to uncover it by repeated listening so that's also why you hardly get tired of it. However, I can't say it is not accessible. Structure of this album is very song-like, yet deep and intricate enough for demanding listeners. Difference from earlier albums to me is, that "Cowboy Poems Free" are not so coherent as a whole album, but serve rather as a collection of separated strong and varied tracks. There are clever connections in the small ambient interludes ("Poems"), mostly instrumental ones. The unifying element, present throughout, is retro-bittersweet atmosphere. Wishing turns into anger, gloom, into hope ...

Album's lyrics are conceptual and add very romantic overtone. While music is often tuned on major chords, lyrics are rather sad and mournful, insightful, even bordering with black humour. Sometimes all together it sounds absurd, as life itself can be. The topics are circling around various war chapters during American history.

There are a lot of things to admire. Alternating of expressive voices, Kull's and Weston's, with original phrasing and mature harmonies. Then there are funny and complex rhythm tricks and exotic percussion, as the entertaining chord changes and keyboard/synth colors. Quite a challenge and adventure. Hard to pick the favorite, High as Pride has very intense build-up with slide guitar showcase. Too Late for Everything brings tears to the eyes, while American Vacation Tune or Texas Dust will devour you by the energy and tempo changes. 1729 Broadway or 67 Degrees overwhelm you with strange broodiness and tension, and so on...

Listening to this music is fun as well as deeply affective experience. Masterpiece for me.

stewe | 5/5 |


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