After three years, Echolyn follows-up to Mei, a 50-minute, single-track release with The End Is Beautiful. On the new disc, there’s eight songs with a total time of 55:50. The End Is Beautiful carries on the Echolyn tradition of Americana based progressive rock. This also marks the first album with the same line-up as their 1994 release As The World. For those couldn’t digest the amazing Mei album or those that wanted more than the Cowboy Poems Free, you are justly rewarded with quite possibly the best release of the band‘s history.
Opening the album is “Georgia Pine” (5:49), an energetic hard hitting infectious song. This is by far one of the best opening tracks of the year 2005. “Heavy Blue Miles” (6:48) continues the tempo with a modern sounding intro then he pace slows down a bit with instruments playing at a slow yet complex rate. Over the course of time, I’ve grown to say that this has become one of my all time favorite Echolyn songs ever.
The epic of the album, “Lovesick Morning”(10:12) has such an infectious chorus that resonates in your head long after the song is over. This is another favorite of mine.
“Make Me Sway” (5:23)is possibly the most aggressive song the band has ever recorded. In a perfect world, this could possible the lead single. Again there’s some infectious vocals here.
The title track, “The End Is Beautiful” (7:45)is a testament to the classic Echolyn sound. They took what they’ve done so far and progress forward while remaining recognized. This song is another of my all time favorites of the band.
“So Ready” (5:01) takes the band into funk territory and have an excellent horns section which adds character to the band’s already complex nature. You find yourself feeling the groove of this song and you feel your body moving to the beat.
“Arc Of Descent” (5:46) has a dark theme and the instrumentation to match. There’s a perfect mixture of acoustic and electric here. This song sounds very similar to what was on “As The World”, while being different.
The final track, “Misery, Not Memory” (9:03) has a driving sound. Fans of Hammond playing will rejoice here. It’s a wonderful way to end a wonderful album. Had I reviewed this back in 2005, I would have to say it’s one of the better if not best albums of that year.
As I looked back, five years later, The End Is Beautiful is a classic masterpiece of an album that stands the test of time with a very modern and classic sound. I would recommend fans of this album to re-listen and enjoy the beauty of Echolyn’s music.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 17th, 2010