THE ECHOING GREEN
"The Winter Of Our Discontent"
A Different Drum (ADDCD1147)
Release Date: April 7, 2003
The Winter of Our Discontent is The Echoing Green's sixth studio album, and it's the group's strongest effort to date. The album combines various sounds and moods (straight-up synthpop, intense uptempo numbers, and downtempo mood pieces), but the songs sound like they naturally segue seamlessly into each other.
The album opens with "Daybreak," a short instrumental piece; sonically, the song has two layers (you can feel the hope of a new day dawning, yet this is mixed with a sense of foreboding). This launches immediately into "The Story of Our Lives," which is the strongest song on the album. As the song progresses, so does its intensity; at its climax, a soaring soprano vocal provided by Jenna London takes the song to "the next level." The listener literally gets chills down their spine when Jenna's vocal enters the mix.
"Someday" is another strong point of this album. It's a downtempo mood piece, which features Jason Smith (aka Leiahdorus) on piano. Sonically, there's a sense of "the calm before the storm" and waiting for the inevitable to happen; this mood is captured beautifully in this track. The speaker in the song talks about how someday, they will leave here (and this can be interpreted in a couple of different ways).
"Heidi's Song" is synthpop at its finest, and lead singer Joey Belville demonstrates that he can truly hit some high notes. And in "Blind," Joey shows that he can also hit some impressive low notes. The Echoing Green made a good choice in closing the album with "Winter"; it has the perfect sound for the closing track of an album.
The one real weak spot on the album is "Bittersweet," which is a cover of a song by Velour 100. It's a song that gets stuck in a rut musically. While the lyrics are good, and there's a reason for the song to sound the way it does (the speaker of the song is "stuck in the past"), the music is ultimately what gets stuck in your head rather than the words. It just seems that the music draws a little too much attention to itself.
But even with the weakness of "Bittersweet," The Winter of Our Discontent is a very strong album, and it's disappointing to realize that the masses will not get a chance to hear it. It's an album I highly recommend. After one listen, you'll wonder why The Echoing Green hasn't broken through to the mainstream yet.
(reviewed by Lesley Muir on May 16, 2003)
"Daybreak," "The Story Of Our Lives," "Fall Awake," "Blind,"
and "Heidi's Song" written by Joey Belville
"Apology," "Someday," and "Winter" written by Joey Belville and Chrissy Jeter
"Starling" written by Chrissy Jeter and Joey Belville
"Bittersweet" written by Trey Many
"New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84)" written by Kerr, Burchill, McNeil, and Forbes
All tracks produced by Joey Belville