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Echolyn - I Heard You Listening CD (album) cover

I HEARD YOU LISTENING

Echolyn

 

Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 208 ratings

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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.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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