Album Review :
The Echoing Green "Winter of Our Discontent"
Band: The Echoing Green
Album: The Winter of Our Discontent
Label: BEC/Tooth & Nail
Review by: Brandon Jones
Listening to this album was a unique experience in itself. Going in, I already knew that this group had been around about ten years and released several album i’ve heard briefly. They were another one of those early 90’s Christian Bands that ended up somehow in the awful label failure mix. The one where every small Christian rock label goes under except for T&N… Anyway, back to the record. I took a listen to this album without any presumptions or expectations and what I found was…pure music bliss. I am impressed by this album not only because the sound is original in it’s intent but also because it’s something fresh above the stagnant rock atmosphere. We all know the day is coming where guitar rock will slowly take a back seat to electronics and synthesizers, or at least evolve into some new twisted form. This album starts off with the ambient intro which blasts right into the track “The Story of Our Lives”, which is a personal favorite of mine. The song is best summed up as a combination of electro-pop, euro dance stuff, and a tad of new wave/goth. With plenty of synths. This is the kind of song I enjoy, one where the form is unpredictable but highly melodic and has an addictive melody. This track does just that. “Fall Awake” begins next with more synth and electro ambient backing noises, you know the cool stuff. Joey’s voice ushers in a smooth melody to this track, a danceable type number with more drum samples, more of a rock oriented track. Pop-goth. “Apology” comes up next as a nice little pop number but with a strong beat and more of those enjoyable synths. “Bittersweet” is up next with more electro samples and ambient moods and a slightly mellow feel. I believe it’s a cover of a Trey Many (Velour100) song? “Seaside” is up next and is another light hearted pop mix. “Starling” is my least favorite track on the record just because it doesn’t fit. “Blind” is the darker number, very trance/ambient influenced but with a solid beat. Atmospheric goth pop? It’s good nonetheless. “Someday” is a very mellow kickback song, another mood enhancer. “Ephiphany” is up next and seems to be very Euro/Goth influenced. Finally, “Sparrows and the Nightingales” drops on you and this is another favorite track of mine. Similar to the first song “Story…” Very upbeat number. It seems to be a cover but I guess I’m clueless to whom. “Winter” winds down the album on a very upbeat and a soul searching cry to God. The final track on the album is a re-mix of “The Story of our Lives” (Track 1). All in all, this is a very uplifting and deeply spiritual record from these electro pop veterans. I was suprised going into this record, that I would actually find it entertaining to my senses, but it has done just that and more. The album has found itself at the top of my cd rack and I listen to it quite often. I do so not because this is some “hot” band of the moment, but because the music they compose is both original and untouched by most young american teenagers with guitars. I imagine music like this to be composed more often in the near future. Your friends will tell you you’re so not cool if you listen to this but when you’re alone, you’ll turn it up too 100!!. Yeah, it’s good. Now hopefully T&N will taken them under their wing and promote them on a much more national level. If you’re looking for comparisons try this one on: Imagine a mix of- Duran Duran, Erasure, New Order, Moby, Pet Shop Boys, Joy Electric, a Trance/Ambient soundtrack, mixed in with a pinch of Killers, The Cure, and Nine Inch Nails. That’s a slight taste, mix, and enjoy.
Replay Value: Constant! I listen to this about once a week
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