Echolyn - mei

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Velveteen Records
Catalog Number: VR2009
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:33:00

The opportunity to see Echolyn live was one of the driving forces behind going to NEARfest 2002. Little did I know that the band would lay out 49 minutes of brand new music on the audience. A bold move indeed. I have to admit that it was exciting, though at times I found myself not paying close attention. The band warmed up the crowd with tracks from their previous releases, before unveiling their defining statement simply titled mei

I picked up the CD immediately after the band's performance. They were all very upbeat guys (I am sure there was a rush from playing in front of 1,850 fanatics), friendly, and talked with everyone. Though I must say I did not absorb a lot of it from the live show, my five hour ride home on Monday provided me with some relaxing time to really dig into mei. And I have to say it is a very worthwhile record to get lost in. It has grown on me with each listen, and has been in my player since NEARfest. In typical Echolyn fashion, the musical complexity, vocal arrangements are all here, with keyboardist Chris Buzby writing the orchestral score that is interspersed throughout. The band also thunders on sections such as "Fade Away", "Wishing You Away" among others. There is plenty of delightful hammond organ, and Kull's tasty licks float effortlessly through the piece. The dynamic range hits both ends, with some very soft, subtle moments countered by some of the most aggressive music the band has recorded. I think this is a record that you have to judge for yourself, no review can really do it justice.

mei seems very personal lyrically. I am sure everyone will have their own interpretation. I hear a lot of passion in the vocals. The band had to have spent plenty of painstaking sessions recording and arranging this. The website and booklet set it up as a Pilgrim's journey across many junctions, which I guess we could all relate to our own life experiences. The lyrics are printed out on the site as well, so you can read for yourself. Lucky for me my ride to work is about the same amount of time it takes to get through the disc, so the band has painted many drives to and from work. Echolyn is a terrific band and I am thrilled to have been witness to a live performance of this record. One of my favorites of 2002, do not ignore this CD.

mei (49:33)

Christopher Buzby - keyboards & vocals
Brett Kull - guitars & vocals
Paul Ramsey - drums & percussion
Ray Weston - bass, vocals
Additional Musicians: Sarah Green - flute
Jian Shen - clarinet
Jordan Perlson - percussion
Emily Botel-Barnard - violin
Janosh Armer - violin
Jonathon Atkins - cello
Eric Huber - vibraphone, timpani, marimba, tambourine

Echolyn (1991)
Suffocating The Bloom (1992)
...And Every Blossom (1993)
As The World (1995)
When The Sweet Turns Sour (1996)
Cowboy Poems Free (2000/2008*)
ProgFest '94: The Official Bootleg (2002)
mei (2002)
A Little Nonesense: Now And Then (2002)
Official Live Bootleg: Jersey Tomato (2003)
As The World (expanded reissue) (2005)
The End Is Beautiful (2005)
Echolyn (**) (2012)
I Heard You Listening (2015)
Home Brew Bootleg Stew 1994-95 (VHS) (1995, oop)
Stars And Gardens Vol 4. (DVD) (2004)

*remastered **not the same album as the debut

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 1081
Language: english


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